First Book Canada and RBC Initiate “Speak Up!” Mentorship Program

Neil Pasricha speaks on wellness, future success, and financial literacy to Toronto high school students

TORONTO, Ontario (Dec. 18, 2017) – On Friday December 15th, New York Times bestselling author Neil Pasricha visited C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute to mark the beginning of the “Speak Up!” mentorship program that will include grade 12 students and authors with knowledge across industries. The event included 100 students at C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute to whom Pasricha spoke on Friday and will continue to mentor until the end of the school year. This program emphasizes success through a combination of financial literacy and enriched reading, with Pasricha speaking on his experience of practicing happiness and wellness. This program is generously supported by RBC.

C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute is a high school in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto that recently lost a student this past summer. The students at this high school had the opportunity to ask Pasricha questions, receive a copy of Pasricha’s book The Happiness Equation and get it signed, as well as begin a mentor-mentee relationship with Pasricha that will continue until they graduate. Each student also chose two books to take home, supplied by First Book Canada.

“First Book Canada is delighted to start this program with an author and mentor like Neil Pasricha and at a school like C.W. Jefferys. By talking directly with young people on the cusp of graduating about their future success and their personal happiness, Neil’s presentation is sparking a meaningful discussion and offering some inspiration and hope at an important juncture in their lives,” said Tom Best, Executive Director at First Book Canada.

About First Book Canada

First Book Canada provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. By making new, high quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book Canada is transforming the lives of children and elevating the quality of education in the country. Since 2009, First Book Canada has distributed over 6 million new books to hundreds of thousands of children in need across Canada. For more information, or to register for books, visit us at and follow our latest news on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Media Contact:

Tom Best, Executive Director, First Book Canada
866.732.3669 ext. 0130