A group of Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam students can now focus on their studies after graduation, thanks to a financial boost from a B.C. philanthropist.
The latest round of the Beedie Luminaries scholarship funding selected five Tri-Cities Grade 12 students that face educational barriers to receive up to $44,000 each towards their post-secondary pursuits.
Ryan Beedie, a real estate developer and owner of the foundation, granted a total of $6.9 million to 116 Grade 12 students, 10 refugee and immigrant students and 20 single parents across the province.
The Tri-Cities recipients, all soon-to-be 2023 high-school grads, are as follows (in alphabetical order):
- Einas Alabar = Port Coquitlam / Dr. Charles Best Secondary
- Sahar Ansari = Port Coquitlam / Riverside Secondary
- Vanessa Asaad = Coquitlam / Centennial Secondary
- Maryam Shemal = Coquitlam / Centennial Secondary
- Alexander Work = Coquitlam / Burnaby Mountain Secondary
"Receiving a Beedie Luminaries scholarship means everything to me," said Ansari, whose education aspirations will take her to Simon Fraser University (SFU).
"It recognizes my dedication and hard work in high school and it helps pave the way for my future."
The organization, founded in 2018 with an initial base of $50 million, selects students who are facing financial adversity and the money can be used toward any type of post-secondary study, including public university, college, or trade schools in B.C.
In addition to the money, which will be spread out over four years, the Tri-Cities teens will also be paired with mentors, student coaches, paid internships and ongoing support from the Beedie Luminaries community.
"Receiving a Beedie Luminaries scholarship will allow me to further my education and grant me the freedom to work towards my dreams," added Shemal. She's set to study at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) this fall.
"I strongly encourage students to apply for a Beedie Luminaries scholarship to aid them in their pursuits of higher education."
According to Beedie, 41 per cent of Grade 12 recipients this year are the first in their immediate family to attend a post-secondary school — 60 per cent from single-parent or legal guardian families.
"It has been inspiring to see the success that this talented and determined group of young people has achieved over the past four years," Beedie said.
"I can't wait to see what they will accomplish as they move forward to the next chapter of their lives."
Beedie launched the program to mark his 50th birthday, on Nov. 13, 2018, with a $50-million donation to the foundation.
In the five years since, it has since awarded 625 scholarships to B.C. Grade 12, single parent, refugee and graduate students.
Grade 12 students graduating in 2024 interested in applying for the funding can do so by visiting the Beedie Luminaries website.
- with a file from Glen Korstrom, Business In Vancouver