Clarica launches new grant program to enhance student leadership skills

WATERLOO, ON, March 22, 2002 – Clarica today announced a new grant program designed to advance leadership skills among students at publicly funded Canadian schools. With the goal of highlighting the importance of leaders for Canada’s future, the program will fund projects that develop leadership, as defined by students from primary to post-secondary levels.

In launching the request for proposals, Bob Astley, Clarica’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said that leadership, communication skills and teamwork are vital to Canada’s future. “Like other Canadian businesses, we look for people who bring a wide range of skills to their work. Technical skills are critical, of course. But we need a workforce of people whose superb interpersonal skills match their technical depth. These are the key qualities we look for in staff members, and we’d like to help students focus on developing both types of skills as part of their education.”

Clarica invited a panel of experts in leadership education to work with staff and agent representatives to create the request for proposals. The panel recommended encouraging creativity and micro-projects with dozens of grants to fund a wide range of projects related to leadership and the understanding of leadership – leaving the definition of leadership and the design of the projects up to students themselves. The panel will review and rank applications from students, who are invited to fill out an online application form describing their proposed project.

This launch also marks Clarica’s move to online applications for all donation funding. Clarica’s Public Affairs Manager, Judith Chopra, noted that online forms are less expensive and time-consuming for applicants, and also allow Clarica to respond quickly. “We want to focus on building relationships and understanding issues, and this is one way to reduce the paperwork and focus on people. The online information and forms make our guidelines clear and ensure that applicants provide the information we need to make decisions – so we make the best use of everyone’s time.”

The program has three stages:

  1. Students (sponsored by teachers up to the post-secondary level) are invited to apply
    on-line for grants of up to $7,000. The deadline for submissions is May 17, 2002.

  2. Clarica’s education advisory panel will review and rank proposals.

  3. Clarica will announce projects to be funded in 2002-2003 before the end of June 2002.
    Projects must be completed during the 2002-2003 school year. Selected schools will administer
    project funding.

Full details and instructions on how to apply are available at

Clarica has three major national grant programs:

  • Make your wishes clear: Organ donation saves lives;

  • Canada’s Children: Opportunities for all; and

  • Leaders for tomorrow: building skills today.

The company issues a request for proposals for funding under each program once a year, and accepts applications for one grant program at a time.

Clarica (CLI: TSE) has provided insurance and investment solutions to Canadians for more than 130 years. As well as individual and group insurance, Clarica also provides a full range of savings and retirement products. In Canada, Clarica serves approximately 4 million customers through 8,000 staff, agents, financial planners and group representatives who operate out of 90 offices throughout the country. In the U.S., Clarica operates from three mid- western locations to serve 225,000 policyholders.