RBC, Acadia announce $100,000 donation to support student wellness

HALIFAX, December 10, 2019 – Acadia University announced today a $100,000 CDN donation from RBC to enhance on-campus support services through the innovative Q-Life Resilience Experience.

The Quality Student Life (QSL, or Q-Life) program views resilience as a personal skill set to be learned over time, and also aims to assess resilience as an outcome in those completing the program. RBC’s goal is to address the suffering from intense stress and psychological imbalance many students are facing and the program is aimed to alleviate test anxiety, low academic self‐efficacy, and ineffective time management.

“We are extremely grateful to RBC for funding this initiative,” said Dr. Peter Ricketts, Acadia’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “We strive to provide a rich and transformational student experience at Acadia and recognize the importance of personal well-being and mental health as a pathway to success. RBC’s generous donation will help us institute a program that will empower young people to meet and exceed their academic and career aspirations, and will also have a positive and meaningful impact on their future.”

Funding for the Q-Life program is part of Campaign for Acadia, the most ambitious fundraising initiative in Acadia’s history. The comprehensive $75-million campaign, announced in October 2018, will strengthen support for students and faculty, enhance investment in research, and improve campus infrastructure.

Campaign for Acadia is based on four pillars: Transform, Inspire, Discover and Build,” said Nancy McCain (’82), Chair of Campaign for Acadia. “RBC’s gift touches each of these in a profound way because it helps bring vital resources and services to those who need it the most – our students, whose mental health and wellness are central to their personal success. I would like to thank our friends at RBC for supporting our students academically and personally, and for this generous contribution to the Campaign.”

Brent Aitken, Regional Vice-President, Central and Western Nova Scotia at RBC, said, “RBC’s Future Launch program, a $500-million commitment, sees the bank working with institutions like Acadia to provide youth with a broad suite of 21st Century skills, mentors, networks, and practical work experience, ensuring that today’s young people are ready for the jobs of tomorrow. This includes supporting the mental well-being of our students. We are very excited about the difference the Q-Life program will make for these students while they are in school and when they graduate and enter the workforce.”

Aitken said the program will help young people become healthy and productive by giving them access to an ever-evolving, resilience-building experience. The program will also provide content that empowers youth at this point of life experience to gain meaningful education that will impact their future in a positive way.

RBC anticipates reaching 1,500 Acadia students through the program, which will be supported and promoted by student services, residence life support staff, psychology services on campuses, and peer counsellors. There are plans for student orientation presentations to include reference to the Q-Life program. The program will also be delivered to some students in person through the Academic Success and Support Program (ASSP), which supports students with academic difficulties. Kinesiology Professor Dr. Jonathon Fowles said, “thanks to RBC, we are able to build and deliver the Q-Life platform to a large student population this academic year, helping them develop skills for healthy and successful lives at university and beyond.”

Q-Life will initially be offered as a not-for-credit experience for the approximately 125 students who are at risk academically. The classroom component will include face-to-face meetings with student advisors and skill-building workshops in areas such as stress, time management, essay-writing, and study skills. In future, with sufficient funding, Acadia hopes to create a sustainable delivery method for Q-Life to all of the University’s first-year students. Acadia also has received a subscription to Ten Thousand Coffees, RBC Future Launch’s on-line networking platform.

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 85,000-plus employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com. We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact.

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