Transforming Lives & Lifting Communities with The TEAK Fellowship

By Matthew Stopnik
Published October 31, 2019 | 3 min watch

At RBC, we are committed to giving back to the community. Hear from Matthew Stopnik, Co-Head of U.S. Investment Banking, on the importance of our culture of philanthropy and his experience as a Board Member of The TEAK Fellowship, an RBC nonprofit partner.

Seven years ago, I attended an event called TEAK Shake Hands at the invitation of my client and friend, Marc Becker, Senior Partner at Apollo and Board Chair of The TEAK Fellowship. TEAK is a free New York City-based program that helps talented students from low-income families achieve their potential, and through intensive after school and summer classes, TEAK prepares middle school students to get into the nation’s most selective high schools and colleges. Over the course of the evening, I connected with individual students, learned about their backgrounds, discussed their educational goals, and even listened to some of them recite Shakespeare. I walked away in absolute awe of these students and immediately wanted to become more involved. A few months later, I joined TEAK’s Board of Directors and now serve as Vice Chair of the Board.

I am fortunate to work at RBC, a Firm whose Purpose – what we call our Collective Ambition – is to Help Clients Thrive and Communities Prosper

I am fortunate to work at RBC, a Firm whose Purpose – what we call our Collective Ambition – is to Help Clients Thrive and Communities Prosper. These aren’t just words. This is core to who we are and how we think as an organization. Fundamental to that is our culture of philanthropy, with a focus on meeting the needs of youth in the communities we serve. We have raised and awarded tens of millions of dollars through our philanthropic initiatives such as RBC Race for the Kids, RBC Trade For the Kids and RBC Paddle Battle, and we support over 100 youth-focused not-for-profits through the RBC Foundation USA — all to help young people realize their full potential.

But at RBC, it’s not just about providing financial support. Our colleagues are engaged; they show up and they participate. Last year, 2,500 RBC employees participated in over 350 volunteer activities across the U.S., and we have nearly 100 employees who are engaged as active mentors to students to help them achieve their full potential. We were proud that TEAK recognized RBC as their Corporate Honoree at the 2019 Annual Gala, where 20 of my colleagues and I watched in amazement as TEAK students performed their own rendition of Hamilton’s “My Shot.”

Against that backdrop, it is no surprise that TEAK’s mission to unlock access to outstanding educational opportunities for exceptional students has resonated with the RBC community. We have hired TEAK students as interns and full-time employees, and we are proud that over 200 of our colleagues serve as TEAK volunteers, mentors and Board Members.

TEAK is a unique organization. From its leadership team, to its world-class educators and advisors, to its students and their Families, there is a culture of excellence that permeates everything they set out to achieve. TEAK is helping to change the trajectory of its students’ lives and the world around them, preparing them to not just overcome their educational challenges, but to also meet life’s challenges. I am proud that RBC is TEAK’s partner on this great journey.


Matthew Stopnik
Co-Head of U.S. Investment Banking


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