Scotiabank and YMCA Announce $2.15 Million Partnership To Help Increase School Graduation Among Vulnerable Youth

The Bank's commitment will enable 50 YMCA Alternative Suspension program sites to support students across Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Quebec
May 11, 2022 12:40 PM ET
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Originally published on Scotiabank Media Center

TORONTO, May 11, 2022 /3BL Media/ - Scotiabank announced a community investment of $2.15 million to the YMCA Alternative Suspension (AS) program, an initiative founded on the principle that traditional suspensions from school are missed opportunities for students, their families, their school, and their community. The program acts as a catalyst for positive behavioural change helping students improve their school experience, stay in school, and graduate high school.

AS, which first originated in Quebec and is now delivered through YMCAs across Canada, is geared toward 12- to 17-year-old youth in crisis. Through the program, students develop a trusting relationship with a qualified youth worker who aims to help students understand their challenges. The program provides pro-social group workshops, one-on-one meetings with a youth worker, dedicated time for schoolwork, and referrals to other community-based activities, services and school resources. School staff and parents are involved throughout the process to ensure a holistic and coordinated approach to supporting the students' success.

Click here to read more about the program and its benefits.

"Through the YMCA Alternative Suspension program, vulnerable youth have the opportunity to transform a difficult period into one that helps them realize their full potential," says Meigan Terry, Senior Vice President and Chief Social Impact, Sustainability and Communications Officer at Scotiabank. "We are proud to partner with the YMCA to support student success by helping youth reintegrate into high school and improve their confidence levels."

Scotiabank's partnership with YMCA Alternative Suspension is a signature program within ScotiaRISE, the Bank's 10-year $500 million initiative that aims to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups. YMCA Alternative Suspension has a proven track record of success, with 85 per cent of its participants exhibiting positive behavioral change at school following their participation in the program.

"Building resilience one kid at a time is the main purpose of our YMCA Alternative Suspension program which was created over 20 years ago. And so far, the results have been greater than we expected. Thanks to Scotiabank, the program will pursue its rapid growth through its implementation across Canada and continue to support our youth," says Stéphane Vaillancourt, President and CEO, YMCAs of Québec.

"YMCA Calgary is committed to building and serving communities where youth can belong, grow, thrive, and lead," says Shannon Doram, President & CEO, YMCA Calgary. "YMCA Alternative Suspension supported by ScotiaRise, is a proven model that helps youth stay in school while also building essential leadership skills. With Scotiabank's partnership, we look forward to expanding the impact of this program to even more communities."

As a key enabler of the Bank's purpose to deliver for every future, ScotiaRISE is fostering sustainable change by partnering with programs and organizations across its footprint that provide the tools people need to improve their education and employment prospects, adapt to changing circumstances, and increase the likelihood of financial success.

ScotiaRISE has supported nearly 200 charities and deployed $26 million in community investments globally in its first year and continues to invest in community initiatives that are making a difference.

For more information on ScotiaRISE and Scotiabank's commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit: ScotiaRISE: $500 million in community investment by 2030 to help people RISE | Scotiabank

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our purpose: "for every future," we help our customers, their families and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of approximately 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.2 trillion (as at January 31, 2022), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

About the YMCAs of Quebec and Calgary
A charitable organization whose mission is to encourage and inspire all people to fulfill their potential, thrive and contribute to their community, the YMCAs of Quebec offer programs in more than 30 service sites and virtually across the province, as well as operating an International Language School, YMCA Residence and Camp YMCA Kanawana.

Since 1984, the YMCAs of Quebec Foundation supports the mission of the YMCA and ensure its financial sustainability by promoting the impact it has on the community, raising funds and administering these funds responsibly.

YMCA Calgary is a charity dedicated to building healthy communities. For 120 years, YMCA Calgary has been committed to nurturing the potential of children, youth, and families, promoting healthy living and fostering social responsibility within the community. With six health and wellness facilities, six child development centres with licensed childcare, two outdoor camp sites and more than 60 community program sites, the association serves all quadrants of the city. These spaces and programs allow YMCA Calgary to deliver health and wellness programs, leadership, community outreach programs and other services to help Calgarians connect with others, build life-long skills, and stay active and healthy.

SOURCE Scotiabank