Pascal Siakam has transformed into one of the premier players in the NBA in recent years, emphasized by his selection to the All-NBA Third Team this past season.
But for all his success on the court with the Raptors, Siakam takes as much pride in his work in the community and his various charitable endeavours around Toronto and elsewhere.
On Wednesday, Toronto Metropolitan University announced that Siakam, in partnership with the PS43 Foundation Canada, made a donation this past summer to the Lincoln Alexander School of Law to give students the opportunity to "gain meaningful and paid work experiences with several organizations working towards positive social change."
"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. "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."
The 28-year-old's support helped broaden the reach of the law school's Summer Experience Projects initiative and includes organizations that typically do not have the capabilities or resources to give students and young lawyers hands-on experience during their summer break.
The initiative's goal is to pair students with "frontline 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."
"Our law school has a responsibility to prepare our students to become skilled lawyers and engaged citizens committed to serving their communities with compassion," said Donna E. Young, Founding Dean of Lincoln Alexander School of Law. "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."
Siakam and the PS43 Foundation Canada's donation gave organizations involved the peace of mind to incorporate young aspiring lawyers into their work without having to worry about the financial commitment that it would inevitably incur.
"This past summer, I had the opportunity to work with Justice For Children and Youth — a Toronto-based legal clinic that offers legal services to young people who are facing poverty and homelessness," said Shardaine Rowe Brown, a second-year law student. "Mr. Siakam’s donation to my law school not only allowed me to gain legal experience without financial anxiety, it also unlocked a new pathway for a potential career as a social justice lawyer. Mr. Siakam’s generosity has directly impacted my future in a positive and meaningful way.”
The Lincoln Alexander School of Law is Canada's newest law school, having welcomed its first students in 2020.
Founded by Siakam, the PS43 Foundation Canada is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to impact children's lives through education, encouraging financial literacy, sports and life skills to "teach children and give them an advantage in society."
In June, the Douala, Cameroon native hosted his third "Coding for Champions" initiative, in which the Raptors star and his foundation gifted 150 laptops to young girls pursuing careers in the tech industry.
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