Skip to content

Family of late Coquitlam student starts scholarship fund

The Coquitlam Foundation is overseeing the Leo Chan Memorial Scholarship, named after an extraordinary Pinetree Secondary graduate who died in 2012 from meningococcal disease.

The family of a Pinetree Secondary graduate who died a dozen years ago has set up a scholarship fund to recognize similar outstanding students.

CK and Mabel Chan recently established the Chan Family Legacy Fund to honour their only son, Leo, a University of Victoria (UVic) undergraduate who, in 2012, died at the age of 19 from meningococcal disease, a bloodstream-based bacterial infection.

According to a release issued last week by the Coquitlam Foundation, a philanthropy group overseeing the Chan Family Legacy Fund, the memorial scholarship is available to:

  • anyone applying for post-secondary education
  • has an exemplary record of volunteer service in their school and community
  • is service-oriented

Applications are open in December 2024.

The Coquitlam Foundation had ties to Leo Chan before he died. In 2010, the year he graduated, he won its Raymond LeClair scholarship for post-secondary education.

In his final year at Pinetree, Leo Chan did his work experience at Coquitlam City Hall to prepare for his political science studies at UVic. He was in his second year when he passed away.

"He was just an incredibly bright and hardworking and focused young man," Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart told the Tri-City News after Leo Chan’s death. "He came in enthusiastic, dressed in a suit. He was going to be mayor."

Over the years, his parents have built awareness about the meningitis strains and, in 2016, helped to influence the B.C. government’s decision to adopt the quadrivalent vaccine to make it available for free to all Grade 9 students.

“We are privileged to partner with the Chan family in honouring Leo’s memory,” said Carol Brodie, executive director of the Coquitlam Foundation, in the release.

“Their courage and generosity will undoubtedly make a significant impact in the lives of so many others like Leo who would want to make positive changes in the world.”

To donate to the Coquitlam Foundation or learn about its endowment funds, you can visit its website.