State Farm issues grants to assist aboriginal youth, suicide prevention and robotics program

More than $300,000 granted to five Canadian service-learning projects

Aurora, ON (Oct. 3, 2013) – The State Farm Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is giving $318,527 in service-learning grants to five Canadian youth-focused projects designed to tackle issues and support community improvements.

“We support service-learning initiatives because they integrate community service with a hands-on, classroom curriculum,” said John Bordignon, Media Relations, State Farm Canada. “These projects help students master subject material while fostering civic responsibility. The YAB is a prime example of our commitment to education, Canadian communities and our youth.”

Grant recipients include:

  • HDSB Robotics Program, Halton District School Board (Burlington, ON) — $100,000
  • ConnecTeen Text Base Support, Distress Centre Calgary (Calgary, AB) — $83,259
  • Serious Play, York University (Toronto, ON) — $48,143
  • Leaders Creating Leading Citizens, Air Cadet League of Canada (Toronto, ON) — $46,500
  • Gen7 Aboriginal Role Model Program, Motivate Canada (Ottawa, ON) — $40,624

Grant Recipients’ Comments

“This generous grant is going to support robotics program expansion from kindergarten to Grade 12 across the Halton District School Board,” says Dave Lewis, Coordinator Technological Education and Pathways, New Street Education Centre. “Robotics has proven to be an excellent way to engage students allowing them to make real-world connections.”

“This grant will provide ConnecTeen immediate front-line texting support for teens on issues they are struggling with, helping them to stabilize any immediate crisis they are facing,” says Joan Roy, Executive Director, Distress Centre Calgary.

“This grant will be a significant catalyst for our Air Cadets as they work together to impact the lives of young people,” says Scott Lawson, Executive Director, Air Cadet League of Canada. “From gaining leadership skills to tackling community service projects, this grant opens new opportunities for youth to help youth in creating healthier futures.”

“Motivate Canada is very excited to be partnering with the YAB to provide enhanced opportunities for aboriginal youth to develop their leadership skills and create positive change within their communities,” says Katharine Hare, Active Circle & GEN7 Program Manager. “This grant will enable our GEN7 Aboriginal Role Model program to develop and deliver sport and physical activity programs to promote healthy, active living.”

“The generous support of the YAB allows us to continue to address a near-peer mentoring program,” says Shirley Freek, York University Development, Division of Advancement. “This program engages students, teachers and teachers training in service-learning while exploring issues of diversity as well as socio-economic and gender differences in science, technology, engineering and math fields.”

Supporting Youth

In addition to these youth-focused grants, State Farm is supporting youth through teen driver safety programs.

State Farm has partnered with charitable organization Parachute to establish a formally recognized National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 20 – 26, 2013) in Canada, dedicated to raising awareness and seeking solutions for unnecessary teen road-related injuries and fatalities.

Concurrently, State Farm is inviting high schools in Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick to participate in its second North American Celebrate My Drive® program. Celebrate My Drive raises awareness of the challenges teens will face on their driving journeys; asks parents, teachers and students to commit to safe driving habits during National Teen Driver Safety Week; and, rewards schools and communities for commitments to teen driver safety.

About State Farm

State Farm has been serving Canadians since 1938. State Farm is a Fortune 100 company and is the leading Property and Casualty insurer in North America with more than 80 Million policyholders. In addition to providing affordable car insurance rates, State Farm has more than 500 Canadian agents and 1700 employees providing insurance and financial services including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to our customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, please visit

About State Farm Youth Advisory Board

The State Farm Youth Advisory Board is a diverse group of 30 youths, aged 17-20, who were chosen through a competitive process to lead and oversee a $5 million per year signature service-learning initiative. The Youth Board identified the issues, allocated competitive grants and will now provide technical assistance, communication and oversight to site grantees.

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