Raptors Star Pascal Siakam and Frank McKenna Team up to Help Cameroon Students Dream Big

Aug 31, 2023

UNB’s McKenna Institute and the PS43 Foundation Canada Create $200,000 Scholarship Fund

FREDERICTON, NB — AUGUST 31, 2023 — The University of New Brunswick’s McKenna Institute, together with Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam’s PS43 Foundation, today announced support for a new scholarship to support students from Cameroon enrolled in technology-related degree programs.

“As advances in technology change the way we live and work, we want to ensure our students are ready to not just deal with change but to lead it,” said Dr. Paul Mazerolle, UNB president and vice-chancellor. “We are excited to work with Pascal and the PS43 Foundation to provide UNB students from Cameroon with the resources they need to become leaders in technology.”

The Pascal Siakam Scholarship will provide an $8,000 award to students from Pascal’s birth country of Cameroon. The award is given in honour of his father, Tchamo Siakam, through the McKenna Institute. With a focus on students enrolled in the Bachelor of Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering degree programs at UNB, selection will be based on academic achievement and some consideration may be given to financial need. The total initial funding for the scholarship is $200,000, which includes a matching donation from the River Philip Foundation.

“My dad told me that — as a player — an injury can end your career before it even starts, but the one thing no one can take away from you is your education. That’s why our foundation is focused on supporting the dreams and aspirations of students,” said Pascal Siakam. “As a player on Canada’s NBA Team, it’s a real privilege to do my part to join UNB to welcome students from the country where I was born, into the country I call home.”

Like many students in postsecondary institutions across Canada, students from Cameroon face rising housing costs and the daunting prospect of having to work part-time to fund their studies. This new scholarship will allow eligible students greater ability to focus on their studies and achieve their goals.

“I think it’s only fitting that a university that is right on the front doorstep of our country is the one to welcome future leaders from Cameroon, and help them to dream big,” said Frank McKenna, founder of the McKenna Institute. “I want to challenge others to take part in this amazing new scholarship that will do so much to help Cameroonian students compete and win in their studies, and beyond.”

About The PS43 Foundation Canada

The PS43 Foundation Canada is a not-for-profit organization that finds unique ways to make a difference in the lives of children through education. Through financial literacy, sports, and life skills, the foundation helps teach children and gives them an advantage in society. The PS43 Foundation Canada is guided by one basic principle: dream big.

About The McKenna Institute

Founded in 2021, The McKenna Institute builds upon the life work of its benefactor, The Honourable Frank McKenna, PC, OC, ONB, KC, serving as a catalyst and a connector for academia, industry and government to foster a globally competitive digital economy and society. For more information, visit www.unb.ca/mckenna.

About the University of New Brunswick

Established in 1785, the University of New Brunswick (UNB) is Canada’s oldest English- language university and New Brunswick’s only comprehensive university. With more than 75 undergraduate and graduate programs across its Fredericton and Saint John campuses, UNB serves over 10,000 students from more than 100 countries. A full 50% of high school applicants receive scholarships. UNB is responsible for 70 per cent of all publicly funded research in the province of New Brunswick and attracts more than $50 million in external research funding annually. The University of New Brunswick is committed to enhancing educational attainment across the community.