Since 2006, CGI has partnered with the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) and the state’s community colleges to advance various educational initiatives. “Giving back to the community is a core value of CGI and, since our U.S. headquarters is located in Virginia, we have a strong commitment to investing in local education,” said CGI Vice-President Caroline Rapking.

Caroline and CGI Vice-President Dean Merrill serve on the board of directors for the VFCC helping to move forward initiatives such as the Valley Proteins Fellows Program—a year-long leadership development program for high-achieving, second-year students. CGI, for example, sponsored a leadership summit for 2012 fellows in Montreal, which was also attended by the vice chancellor of the Virginia Community College System and the director of scholarships and special programs.

“In a conversation I had with the VFCC’s vice chancellor and executive director, an idea was formed to develop a ‘capstone’ leadership experience for the fellows with a focus on helping them understand that they can reach their dreams,” shared Caroline. “Hence, the leadership summit was born.”

The summit gave the students an opportunity to learn about the founding and growth of CGI and CGI client Cirque du Soleil®, as well as learn practical skills related to international travel, including obtaining a passport, flying to a different country and navigating a city where the populace speaks another language.

CGI Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board Serge Godin spoke to attendees, sharing the story of how CGI was founded and how its dream, business strategy and core values have driven its success. Serge was also presented with the Dana B. Hamel Award for Leadership in Service by the Virginia Community College System.

CGI’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Business Engineering Officer Daniel Rocheleau addressed attendees as well.

CGI also arranged a half-day tour of Cirque du Soleil’s headquarters in Montreal, including its technology research center, production workshops and artist studios, and invited attendees to a Cirque du Soleil performance.

In addition to the summit, CGI has sponsored VFCC events such as annual board meetings, the Great Expectations Transitional Education Program for Foster Youth, a Cirque du Soleil fundraiser, and the Gerald Baliles Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship. Our Center of Excellence in Southwest Virginia also works closely with Southwest Virginia Community College.

“It’s a privilege to support Virginia’s public education system, particularly at the collegiate level where students are preparing to enter the workforce,” shared Caroline. “Investing in these students’ future is a win-win for us. Some of the 2012 fellows even expressed interest in working for CGI.”