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More 4-H youth to sample Island bioscience careers

[Left to right] Cheque presentation with Dr. Russ Kerr, Chair, PEI BioAlliance; Rayanne Frizzell, Administrative Director, 4-H PEI Provincial Council; and Blair Dunn, incoming Managing Director (PEI), Grant Thornton LLP.

The Prince Edward Island BioAlliance today announced a $5000 donation it has directed from the Grant Thornton Foundation to 4-H PEI.

The donation allows the PEI BioAlliance to continue and expand its BioFutures program that provides 4-H members, aged 15 to 21, with hands-on experiences spanning six areas of bioscience. Since 2018, 10 to 12 senior 4-H members annually have toured Island bioscience companies and research organizations and taken part in learning activities there.

The activities that the 4-H members undertake with bioscience professionals shed light on relevant career opportunities available in the province as well as the science and technology skills required to join the bioscience sector.

“Bioscience companies need skilled talent to grow, and BioFutures introduces 4-H students to the skills they need to grow along with those companies,” said Dr. Russ Kerr, Chair, PEI BioAlliance. “Thanks to the Grant Thornton Foundation, we can extend BioFutures to invest in giving more students a taste of the premium careers available right here at home on the Island.”

The PEI BioAlliance and 4-H PEI BioVectra are eager to have BioFutures reach senior 4-H members from across the province, including additional rural areas. Through BioFutures, 4-H leaders will also receive orientation to become more informed about PEI’s bioscience sector and potential scholarships available to 4-H youth.

“This donation will let us help even more senior 4-Hers to explore bioscience skills and opportunities on the Island through BioFutures,” said Rayanne Frizzell, Administrative Director, PEI 4-H Provincial Council. “We thank the staff at Grant Thornton and the PEI BioAlliance for their generosity.”

The Grant Thornton Foundation is a vehicle for the accounting and advisory firm to organize the collective volunteer and philanthropic efforts, and significant contributions of its people across Canada. The Foundation provides financial support for local, national and international causes that resonate with Grant Thornton employees.

“The saying that charity begins at home is indeed true of our employees who volunteer and fundraise here on PEI,” said Blair Dunn, incoming Managing Partner (PEI), Grant Thornton LLP. “We are proud to have the Grant Thornton Foundation make a difference locally through this donation to the 4-H community on PEI.”

Although the idea for BioFutures began as a partnership that the PEI BioAlliance established with 4-H PEI, the PEI BioAlliance is also open to exploring separate partnerships with not-for-profit organizations to introduce more Island students to BioFutures and the future prospects available in PEI’s bioscience sector.

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