Yvon Charest Bursaries

6 bursaries awarded instead of 2 for children of iA Financial Group employees

The bursaries were presented to you in 2019, in honour of our former president and CEO, who helped build iA Financial Group into the major, forward-looking company it has become.

Congratulations to our six 2020 bursary recipients

Close to 800 employees evaluated the finalists! Thank you for your participation!

Recipient in the age 15 and under category

Isaac, 11, QC

$5,000 Bursary

Cure my sister

Hello, for me it’s pretty easy, if I had $5000 that fell from the sky, I would give the money right away to people doing scientific research to find a medication that could cure my sister, who has a very rare and very weird disease. Because of this genetic disease, my sister’s muscles turn into bone and that prevents her from moving her arms and legs like everyone else. When we were little, it wasn’t like this. But the older she gets, the more the fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva prevents her from being able to do what she wants to do. Also, the doctors can’t even operate because that makes things worse. She can’t even get vaccines or anything that affects her muscles too much without them ossifying even more. There is a lot of research happening right now to find a cure for her and the other 900 people in the world who have this disease. I want her to be able to live like everyone else and like me. I love my sister!

Recipient in the age 15 and under category

Brandon, 12, AB

$2,500 Bursary

To compete at Yale University for WSC!

My biggest dream for 2020 is to compete in the World Scholar's Cup (WSC). The Cup is a large gathering of youths from all around the world, who take part in various competitions together, including Scholar's Bowl, Collaborative Writing, Scholar's Challenge and Team Debate. I am certainly feeling confident about this whole thing as we have already formed teams and started working vigorously on preparation for everything. My school has already won the championship once in 2019, and I wouldn't want that to be a one-time thing. The bursary will help me achieve this dream because the competition is first in Calgary (Regional Round - April), then in Vancouver (Global Round - July), and finally, Yale University (Tournament of Champions - November). If I am able to cover travel and living costs for all of the out-of-province competitions, I will have completed half the challenge and it will obviously be beneficial for everyone in my team and our chances of winning will increase drastically.


Recipient in the age 15 and under category

Anthony, 7, QC

$2,500 Bursary

Life dream- AAA Hockey in France

Our 8-year-old son is dyslexic and reading and writing for him has been a lifelong battle.

It is so hard to see him like this, he has to struggle against his anger and his sadness because of his dyslexia and he sometimes cries tears of frustration because of his condition. Our hearts break every time he compares himself to others. However, he is so quick and intelligent, so sweet and empathetic. We are convinced from the bottom of our hearts that he has a fulfilling life ahead of him on the other side of this storm.

We’re proud to be the parents of this little boy with huge determination.

His escape is on the ice with his friends. The wonderful life dream he has chosen is an AAA hockey camp in France. It brings stars to his eyes thinking about it.

Recipient in the age 16+ category

Olivier, 22, QC

$5,000 Bursary

Camp “Follow your Heart”

Hello, my name is Olivier and I am studying medicine at Université Laval. I’m currently involved in research with a pediatric cardiac surgeon who gave me the wonderful idea to run a project that has already been done in another province: a day camp supervised by health care professionals for children born with heart problems. The goal of this initiative is to allow these children to have a normal day camp experience for a full weekend and to socialize with other children in the same situation as them. They would have the chance to have fun and develop their independence in a safe environment, and they’d get to experience the typical activities of a real day camp. This $5,000 bursary would help me cover part of the costs involved in making this weekend day camp a reality, and an unforgettable experience for children and their parents.


Recipient in the age 16+ category

Mariah, 25, New Mexico, USA

$2,500 Bursary

Master’s Degree in Social Work

The bursary funds would greatly benefit my dream of completing graduate school to earn my master’s degree in social work. I have a large desire to help make my community a better place and I'd like my work to focus on children and youth. I believe if you help children through their hardships it can positively impact their future by providing them with the tools to cope with the hardships that come with life. Through graduate school I want to learn the skills to teach children and families what healthy relationships consist of. My ultimate goal is to provide psychotherapy for children, youth and families as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and the first step in making my dream a reality is obtaining my master’s degree. I am proud to say that I worked hard and am currently enrolled in a graduate program. Graduate school has proven to be an expense I can't afford, so the bursary funds would help me pay for school and not add even more to the student debt I already have.

Recipient in the age 16+ category

Kevin, 20, QC

$2,500 Bursary

Broken dreams – Returning to studies

Kevin is a brilliant young man whose dreams evaporated after his third concussion playing soccer. His goal was to go to Harvard (Law), and he had even visited the university and had potential. However, he had to put his high school studies on hold for a few months and was monitored at the IRDPQ physical rehabilitation facility. After that, nothing was like it was before, his ambition had completely faded. He even stopped his Cégep studies to focus on work (which was easier for him than school). After a break, he has just started studying again, at university, as an adult. However, he has to keep working to pay his tuition fees while being enrolled in full-time courses. A financial helping hand would allow him to focus on his studies or at least to slow down his work (and make sure he doesn’t burn himself out). His cognitive abilities have returned, but not to the same level as before, so this help could be a big encouragement.


  • January 28 to February 28th

    Submission period

  • March 2 to 18

    The committee, made up of employees from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Quebec, has chosen 10 submissions (5 per category) from those received. Committee members did not see the employee’s name, the child’s name or where they’re from, to guarantee transparency.

  • March 18 to April 20

    Employees are asked to evaluate the submissions

  • April 27

    We’re here! - Announcement of the recipients

Eligibility criteria

  • One submission per child
  • The child’s parent must be a permanent, temporary or contract employee of iA Financial Group or a Career network advisor
  • The employee must be active when the bursary is awarded, if applicable
  • The bursary must be used for the submitted project or dream no later than December 31, 2021

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