Impact of Schroeder Foundation Felt Across Canada

CANADA – Thousands of Canadian lives will be impacted thanks to a major increase in funding commitments by The Schroeder Foundation this year.
On the medical front, 2020/2021 marked the founding of the Schroeder Allergy and Immunology Research Institute at McMaster University, the creation of the Schroeder Arthritis Institute and the opening of a Catheterization Lab at The Schroeder BRAIN&HEART Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital. The Foundation also increased the number of scholarships it gives to Winnipeg students, a donation that now totals over $3 million annually. The Foundation contributed to several other multi-year commitments including donations to the Toronto Rehab Institute and Appleby College. In the last year, $22 million was given to initiatives with total multi-year commitments of over $80 million.

The Schroeder Foundation is led by Walter Schroeder, founder of the Dominion Bond Rating Service (sold in 2014 when Schroeder retired). The Foundation is committed to improving health services for Canadians, fostering the arts and enhancing post-secondary education opportunities for vulnerable youth.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put stress on Canada’s already underfunded medical system, and made things even harder for Canada’s most vulnerable people,” said Walter Schroeder. “We stepped up our giving this year to help fill some of those gaps and help those who are being left behind.”

This year’s most significant new commitment was a $25 million donation to UHN Toronto General and Western Hospitals for the creation of the Schroeder Arthritis Institute. The gift, which will be allocated over the next 10 years, will support the early diagnosis, innovation treatment and prevention of arthritis and other related autoimmune diseases. The institute will treat 80,000 patients annually, and perform upwards of 1,200 joint replacements. It is the leading entity of this kind in Canada. The new commitment is on top of a $3 million donation already made to an osteoarthritis innovation fund.

“We are tremendously proud and tremendously grateful that Walter and Maria have chosen to build on their past support to UHN with this transformational gift,” said Tennys Hanson, Chief Executive Officer of Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation. “This announcement is wonderful news for our clinicians and researchers who will comprise the Schroeder Arthritis Institute.”

The Foundation also committed $10 million over the next 5 years toward the creation of the Schroeder Allergy and Immunology Research Institute at McMaster University, Schroeder’s alma mater. This initiative will allow scientists, clinicians and post-doctoral fellows to conduct groundbreaking research to mitigate the effects of allergies through treatment and prevention.

“Allergies are becoming more prevalent and more severe, especially for young Canadians. And yet, this area is medicine is often overlooked and underfunded,” said Schroeder. “Having watched my grandchildren struggle with allergies, I have seen first hand how life altering they can be. Increased research in this area could alleviate a lot of unnecessary suffering.”

The Foundation is also increasing the number of post-secondary scholarships it provides to students from Winnipeg’s core neighbourhoods.
Students from Winnipeg’s Sisler High School, St. John’s High School and Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute receive full tuition scholarships to Red River College and the University of Manitoba thanks to annual contributions from The Schroeder Foundation. Students also receive bursaries throughout the year as a reward for good grades. This year, The Schroeder Foundation partnered with Vancouver Film School to provide 15 full tuition scholarships for students of the Sisler High School CREATE program. 2021 will also mark an increase in the number of scholarships given to students from Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute.

The Foundation runs numerous charitable initiatives in Winnipeg, aimed at providing nutritious food for families and educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth. The Foundation operates a food bank outreach program through St. John’s High School, which provides between 130 and 170 food hampers to student families, and employs community service workers to deliver the hampers and work with families to help them overcome barriers to education. It also funds a school cafeteria that provides free breakfast and heavily subsidized lunches for 150 students daily. This year, The Schroeder Foundation stepped up to cover a Winnipeg School Division budget cut that eliminated a $210,000 milk subsidy program. The Foundation’s Winnipeg education initiatives have a budget of over $3 million per year.

Walter Schroeder and his wife Maria were raised in Winnipeg’s core.

“Education is what raised us out of poverty and gave us the opportunity to succeed. We want to pay that forward by removing barriers for others,” said Schroeder. “We are particularly focused on fostering the next generation of Indigenous leaders.”

The Schroeder Foundation is currently collaborating with former Governor General David Johnson’s Rideau Hall Foundation and the University of Winnipeg on a
program aimed at training Indigenous teachers. The Foundation is also working with the Martin Family Initiative Entrepreneurial Program to improve Indigenous graduation rates.

The Schroeder Foundation devotes significant resources to improving health services for all Canadians. In recent years they have also invested heavily in the arts in Newfoundland & Labrador, creating a theatre company to build a new musical celebrating the arts and culture of the province’s people. Some of their most personal efforts, however, have been in their hometown of Winnipeg, where they have created scholarships and other programs that support students in some of the city’s most vulnerable high schools.

For more information and interviews contact:
Ginny Collins
Communications Consultant
gcollins@terrabay.ca
(204) 802 2845

St. John’s High School Sees Highest Ever Graduation, Post-Secondary Enrollment for Indigenous Students

St. John’s High School, located in Winnipeg’s North End, is seeing the highest Indigenous graduation and post-secondary enrollment rates in the school’s 110 year history, thanks in large part to the support of The Schroeder Foundation.

The Foundation supplies post-secondary scholarships, free and subsidized student meals, family meal kits and outreach workers to help ensure students stay in school and reach their full potential. Three years ago, prior to the involvement of The Schroeder Foundation, 16% of St. John’s graduating class pursued a post-secondary education. By 2020, this number had increased to 61%.

“Students now speak openly and often about their desire to seek a post-secondary education. These conversations are changing the culture within our school,” said Douglas Taylor, Principal at St. John’s High School. “Because of the opportunities provided to them by The Schroeder Foundation, students are seeing a way forward – they are daring to dream.”

The Foundation currently provides $655,000 in scholarships and bursaries annually to St. John’s students. It also employs five community outreach staff that work with 80 students and their families. These workers are mindful of the barriers students and their families face, including food insecurity, living wage work scarcities, housing instability, unequal access to preventative healthcare, mental health challenges and the effects of trauma. The workers also deliver 150 meal kits with recipes to the families. The Foundation provides free breakfast for St. John’s students, as well as 75 free lunches – the rest of which are heavily subsidized.

Walter Schroeder, the head of The Schroeder Foundation, grew up in Winnipeg’s Centennial neighbourhood. When visiting St. John’s High School in 2018, he witnessed teachers buying granola bars and apples for hungry students with their own money. It was then that he committed to help reduce food security issues and increase educational opportunities.

“Not all students have the same start in life, but they all deserve the chance to achieve their goals. The Schroeder Foundation is committed to removing barriers for vulnerable students, including those who are making the transition from life on a reserve to an urban high school,” said Schroeder. “Our support is designed to address the complex issues faced by students and their families. The community outreach workers are highly experienced and provide tailored support to help families succeed.”

“The Schroeder Foundation is making a real, tangible difference in our school,” said Principal Taylor. “January 2020 marked the first time St. John’s students in the Provincial Pre-Calculus exams achieved grades in the 90% range, while one Indigenous student achieved 99%. We have more to do, but this is significant.”

Donor to subsidize milk program cut by school division

Donor to subsidize milk program cut by school division

 

Winnipeg Free Press

Posted: 4:00 AM CDT Saturday, Mar. 20, 2021

A city philanthropist will serve up a $210,000 donation to restore a milk-subsidy program drained from Winnipeg School Division’s budget this month.

“The cut demonstrates a total disregard for the division’s most vulnerable students,” Walter Schroeder said in a news release Friday. “Instead of making cuts from the top, the division has chosen to cut a program that directly affects the well-being of children and youth.”

The $210,000 donation from the Schroeder Foundation will restore the subsidy program, which provides 650-ml cartons of milk to elementary and junior high students for 25 cents. The subsidy was eliminated on March 9 when the division announced its 2021-22 budget.

Schroeder, who grew up in Winnipeg and attended Dufferin School, said the issue of food security in the city’s poorest neighbourhoods is close to his heart, and he recalled school milk deliveries where students would pay a nickel for a pint of milk.

“I remember the clink of glass bottles, the deliveries from the milkman, the importance of fresh milk to growing kids. My mother would give me a nickel to pay for the milk, but I could see not everyone received some,” he said.

“There were families even poorer than ours. The truth is, you can’t learn if you’re hungry. Subsidies like these go a long way in supplementing a child’s diet and helping families who want the best for their kids.”

Schroeder founded the Dominion Bond Rating Service, then sold the company in 2014, allowing him to focus on philanthropy.

His charitable foundation funds a wide variety of initiatives in Winnipeg, and throughout Canada, aimed at providing nutritious food for families and educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth.

It operates a food bank at St. John’s High School in the North End, which typically delivers 100 food hampers to the families of students in need, a number that soared to 170 in the early days of the pandemic.

At St. John’s, the foundation has not only funded the food bank — buying groceries from Downtown Family Foods — but provided bursaries, scholarships and a state-of-the-art cafeteria that provides free breakfasts and nutritious lunches that cost a maximum of $2.50.

It currently provides more than 700 scholarships and bursaries, as well as equipment and other supports to students at three Winnipeg high schools, with donations totaling more than $3 million annually.

The news release said Schroeder became aware of food insecurity at St. John’s during a visit in 2018 when he saw teachers buying granola bars and apples out of their own pocket for hungry students.

“He decided to buy these items for students through the foundation and, throughout the years, has taken this offer much further,” it said, noting the foundation will provide 40 full, four-year scholarships for high school students to the University of Manitoba and 40 to Red River College this year.

15 Sisler students surprised with full scholarships to Vancouver Film School

15 Sisler students surprised with full scholarships to Vancouver Film School

 

CBC News

February 23, 2021

Article by: Darren Bernhardt

Philanthropist Walter Schroeder is at it again, opening his wallet to help 15 inner-city Winnipeg students head to the to Vancouver Film School on full-ride scholarships.

“No way,” was blurted out by more than a few of the students, from Sisler High School’s CREATE post-grad program, when the surprise announcement was made during a live-streamed video conference on Tuesday.

 

Noah Curoe’s cybersecurity skills have earned him a full scholarship to the University of Manitoba for Computer Science.

Noah Curoe’s cybersecurity skills have earned him a full scholarship to the University of Manitoba for Computer Science.

 

Winnipeg School Division

July 21, 2020

The Sisler High School graduate received the scholarship from the Walter and Maria Schroeder Foundation. In June, Curoe and his Sisler cybersecurity teammates secured a win at CyberTitan III, Canada’s largest cyber defence competition.

“It feels good,” said Curoe of the scholarship. “For years I’ve been thinking about how we’re going to cover my tuition, so to find out it’s all going to be covered is just amazing. It’s life-changing.”

 

North End Winnipeg High School Builds Brand New Cafeteria and Affordable Meal Program

In early 2018, the Walter & Maria Schroeder Foundation pledged $10 million dollars to three underprivileged high schools located in Winnipeg. St. John’s High School, one of the schools to receive the grant, has students who live in a largely single-parent household community where the median income is $40,000. A major issue for students in this community is access to a sustainable and healthy food program.

This year, with the help of the Walter & Maria Schroeder Foundation, St. John’s High School unveiled its brand new Tiger Cafe, an affordable lunch and breakfast program for students. Tiger Cafe offers a communal environment where students can enjoy delicious meals prepared by the school’s new cafeteria. From pancakes and eggs to lemon chicken and lasagna, these meals are prepared in a transformed cafeteria with state-of-the-art cooking and kitchen appliances.

The new affordable lunch program offers students free breakfast and $2.50 lunches –  every day of the week for the entire school year. Meals are prepared fresh and emphasize the nutritional needs a busy high school student deserves. The program is a success drawing excited reviews from students who now look forward to eating their school breakfast and lunch with their peers.

The principal of St John’s, Doug Taylor, says the positive effect of the Tiger Cafe is “a game-changer… [The lunch program] is making a difference. Students are staying here, students are eating.”

The program which is estimated to cost $400,000 a year is fully covered by the grant received from the Walter & Maria Schroeder Foundation.

SSEEF grant & Schroeder donation of $710K in technology enhances our talented #TechnoCreative students future!

SSEEF grant & Schroeder donation of $710K in technology enhances our talented #TechnoCreative students future!

 

2019 has been a year we will never forget. Two major Investments will significantly improve our infrastructure and how we deliver our programming.

Since January 2019, Sisler’s Techno-Creative programming (Animation, Film, Graphics, and IDM) received the Manitoba Skills Strategy Equipment Enhancement Fund Grant of $210,000 and a game-changing donation of $500,000 from the Walter and Maria Schroeder Foundation. We are looking forward to seeing our super creative students using this new technology. In Addition, Walter and Maria Schroeder Foundation provided another $100,000 for Sisler students taking Cyber-Security.

Thank you to all those fantastic people who helped make this happen. Thank you to Walter and Maria Schroeder, your generosity will never be forgotten. Big shout out to our admin team, the Winnipeg School Division, our teaching staff, the countless industry mentors, educational partners, our amazing alumni and most important our super creative and driven students.