Montreal, February 11, 2019 - As part of the Hooked on school days, the Portage Foundation is proud to announce the launch of a new scholarship program for its young residents. Thanks to the generosity of Desjardins, Portage was able to set up this program to encourage our young people to reach their full potential.

An annual event

The Huîtres en affaires event, sponsored by Desjardins Business, gathers every year 500 people from the business community. In 2018, the event helped raise the net sum of $35,000. These funds have been directly donated to the young residents of Lac Écho in Prévost, as scholarships for their college or university studies. This initiative by Guy Nadeau, General Manager of Desjardins Business - Montréal East and President of the Portage Annual Fundraising Campaign, was a real success. "This Desjardins initiative is part of our commitment to support organizations such as Portage, which support youth and ensure a better future. Desjardins and Portage share common values and that is why we are pleased to support this important cause," said Mr. Nadeau.

A sign of hope

All Portage centres for youth provide mandatory on-site school programming, which is adapted to the needs of the residents and recognized by the local school boards. Many young residents have not completed high school and do not have the financial support to continue their education. The scholarships offered as part of the program therefore represent a lever for them. The recipients can then afford the registration costs for the school program as well as the material and tools related to classes. A scholarship can easily make a difference: "In addition to the much-appreciated monetary value, Portage's scholarship acts as a symbol; someone believes in you and encourages you to persevere. Portage believed in me when I didn't believe in myself," said a young recipient.

Remarkable generosity

In addition to having organized a brand-new event to benefit Portage, the Desjardins Foundation has decided to go a step further and pledge $22,500 over three years for the scholarship program. Together, the Desjardins Foundation and Portage will bring financial support to 10 young residents of Lac Écho, in Saint-Malachie and Elora in Ontario, throughout their studies. This sponsorship program is intended to encourage young people to continue their education while allowing Portage to stay in touch with them during their academic journey. We want to thank Nancy Lee, Director of the Desjardins Foundation, for her commitment to Portage.

About Portage

For more than 45 years, Portage has helped thousands of people free themselves from their dependence. The organization provides addiction treatment services specifically geared to the needs of adults, adolescents, expectant mothers and mothers with young children, as well as individuals with mental health issues. Portage's rehabilitation programs provide quality services that are free of charge and are certified by Accreditation Canada as well the Health Standards Organization (HSO). For more information, please visit www.portage.ca.

For journalists only: Alix Marcoux
514 281-7000, ext. 5557997
alix.a.marcoux@desjardins.com