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KAMLOOPS, BC, Oct. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Thompson Rivers University (TRU) today announced the continuation of the Aboriginal Mentorship Program thanks to the generous support of TD Bank Group. TD's $350,000 gift will be used to maintain the program, which builds pathways for Aboriginal students to guide and support each other through university and beyond.

TD's gift, allocated over five years, will create an endowment for ongoing awards for students participating in TRU's Aboriginal Mentorship program. The inaugural recipients of the award were on hand today, at a ceremony with TD representatives. Jolene Michel, this year's senior student mentor, was awarded $5,000, and first-year student Anastazia Munroe received $2,000.

"Some Aboriginal students face significant challenges while they attend university," said Alan Shaver, TRU President and Vice-Chancellor. "This generous gift from TD creates a sustainable model which supports students financially and through mentorship."

"We are pleased to give back to TRU and the community in a very meaningful way through the Aboriginal Mentorship Program," said Mauro Manzi, Senior Vice President, TD Bank Group – Pacific Region. "TD is committed to investing in the communities where our employees live and work and we are proud to be partnering with TRU to support such a worthy program."

Starting next year, student grants will be awarded annually. Two student mentors will each receive $5,000 and the two students who receive mentorship will each receive $2,000. Mentors are typically in their third or fourth year and mentees are in their first or second year. As mentees progress through their university years, it's anticipated they will take on roles as mentors themselves.

Tangible benefits for first- and second-year students include having a friendly and familiar face to turn to when in doubt or when experiencing anxiety. They can turn to mentors for insight, suggestions, study tips, tutoring and more. Mentors in turn will develop social skills, gain self-confidence and become familiar with the supports and programs available at TRU. Mentoring activities are based on student needs and can be one-on-one, in small groups, or at events.

Studies have shown that the outcomes of mentorship programs include better retention rates for students and improved grades due to peer support and an increase in self-confidence.

Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) is committed to facilitating student access to university education that combines the career benefits of an applied approach with opportunities for community-oriented, relevant research at both the graduate and undergraduate level, with seamless transitions between programs.

With program offerings ranging from university preparation to graduate programs, TRU has become a leader in providing students with opportunities to combine the scholarship and research of a first-class university degree with the career benefits of applied studies.

Now the fourth largest university in the province, TRU was created in 2005 when the University College of the Cariboo joined with the British Columbia Open University.

TD Community Giving
TD Bank Group invests in communities in order to effect positive change in the places where it operates and where its clients and employees live and work. In 2013, TD donated over $74.7 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, TD focuses on education and financial literacy, creating opportunities for young people and the environment. For further information, please visit

SOURCE TD Bank Group

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