Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam made a donation through his PS43 Foundation to give law students at Toronto Metropolitan University a chance "to gain meaningful and paid work experiences with several organizations working towards positive social change" this summer.
TMU's Lincoln Alexander School of Law announced the undisclosed donation in a statement Wednesday. The statement says that the donation helped the school expand the reach of its Summer Experience Projects initiative "to include organizations that otherwise would not have been able to engage students in summer roles and are often underrepresented as career options to young lawyers."
"Our law school has a responsibility to prepare our students to become skilled lawyers and engaged citizens committed to serving their communities with compassion," Donna E. Young, founding dean of the Lincoln Alexander School of Law, said in a statement. "We are immensely grateful to Mr. Siakam and the PS43 Foundation Canada for this generous gift, which gave our students an important opportunity to work hand-in-hand with communities in advocating for equity and social justice."
The summer jobs involve working with organizations "that assist Indigenous, racialized, and other equity-deserving communities who are facing poverty, discrimination or other systemic barriers to the legal system and/or education, social and mental health services." These organizations often cannot afford to pay summer students for work but Siakam's donation will cover those costs.
"My father understood that education has the power to change lives and I try to honour his passion for learning through our work at PS43," Siakam said in the statement. "Giving students at Toronto Metropolitan University's Lincoln Alexander School of Law the opportunity to contribute to and learn from organizations that have the public interest at heart is exactly the kind of empowering experience that can transform their futures."
Siakam launched the PS43 Foundation in 2021. Its mission is to "empower children through education, life skills and mentorship while inspiring them to set any goal despite where their journey may begin or what societal impediments they may face."