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TD also donates $100,000 to Toronto Council of Educators to help fund research on access to postsecondary education for marginalized youth

TORONTO, May 17 /CNW/ - TD Bank Financial Group (TD) today announced a $750,000 gift to Ryerson University to help open the door to university for marginalized high school students and encourage the inclusion of women and visible minorities in the financial sector workplace. The TD gift will help fund the Road to Ryerson and Workplace Diversity programs and other initiatives.

To celebrate this announcement, a reception will be held this evening at the Ted Rogers School of Management. It will also pay tribute to Don Drummond, who retired from his position as TD's Chief Economist in May. The gathering will recognize Drummond's history of advocacy for accessible education and TD's support towards a successful program currently underway at Ryerson and commitment to help launch another important initiative.

"We feel one of the best ways TD can make a difference is by helping youth who would not otherwise attend university," said Ed Clark, President and CEO, TD. "For Canada's economy to stay strong, and to foster a culture of innovation, we need to create access to postsecondary education for all students - not just for those who can afford to go."

"This gift is about creating opportunities for marginalized youth, women, and visible minorities," said Ryerson President Sheldon Levy. "We thank our friends at TD for their generosity and their recognition of the important role that Ryerson plays in reaching at-risk communities and enabling success."

Road to Ryerson gives high school students who "just missed" getting into Ryerson a second chance. The program works in partnership with the Toronto District School Board and Pathways to Education in Regent Park to identify these students and determine what they need to meet Ryerson's admissions standards. Students then return to high school for a "victory lap" to upgrade their marks and are guaranteed admission when they meet these requirements.

For many students like Nadia (not her real name), Road to Ryerson offers hope and opportunity. From the day she and her family arrived in Canada, Nadia wanted to be a nurse. As the eldest of six girls, she had a difficult time convincing her family of the importance of postsecondary education. Nadia believed that if she did not succeed it would bring shame to her family and restrict the educational opportunities for her sisters.

Two years ago she applied to university but was not accepted. She applied a second time with the same result. By then her father had moved away with some of her sisters and her mother was returning to their native country. With support from Road to Ryerson, Nadia upgraded her marks and gained confidence through the knowledge that there was a place for her in university. She held on to her dream and applied to nursing for a third time. In September, Nadia will begin her studies at Ryerson's Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing.

Workplace Diversity, to be developed through the Ted Rogers School of Management Diversity Institute, is a new project that will develop strategies to encourage and support the inclusion of women and visible minorities in the financial sector workplace. The Diversity Institute develops fact-based strategies to promote inclusive workplaces and develop the talent pipeline. Numeracy and financial literacy are core skills for success in virtually every sector. Working with financial service professionals, the Diversity Institute will develop programs for teachers in at-risk neighbourhoods.

TD has also donated $100,000 to the Toronto Council of Educators, a group that includes Ryerson University, representatives from other postsecondary institutions in Toronto, the Toronto District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board and other community-based organizations that work actively with marginalized youth. The gift will fund access to education-related research activities and Craig Alexander, TD's Chief Economist, will play an advisory role in this research initiative.

TD Economics today also released a new report that highlights the critical need to make postsecondary education more accessible to underrepresented groups. This includes a number of recommendations to break down financial and non-financial barriers. To access the study, visit

About Ryerson University

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers close to 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to 28,000 students, including 2,000 master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 tenured and tenure-track faculty and staff, and more than 130,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit

TD Community Giving

TD invests in communities to make a positive impact where it does business and where its customers, clients and employees live and work. In Canada, TD's community giving priorities are: education and financial literacy; creating opportunities for young people to help them fulfill their potential; and protecting and enhancing the environment. TD aims to build a more prosperous and inclusive future by engaging employees, customers, clients and partners to make a difference together by working with diverse communities and communities in need. In 2009, TD donated $37 million to more than 2,500 organizations across Canada. For more information, visit

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