Surrey is home to nearly one-fifth of Beedie Luminaries scholarship winners in B.C. this year.
Twenty-three Grade 12 students in Surrey were awarded one of the 128 scholarships, each valued at up to $40,000.
“These scholarships recognize promising B.C. students who have faced personal and financial hardships in their lives,” Ryan Beedie, founder and principal benefactor of Beedie Luminaries, said in a news release.
“For many of these students, this scholarship means the difference between being able to attend post-secondary or not.”
Beedie Luminaries was launched in November 2018 with a $50-million donation from Beedie, in celebration of his 50th birthday.
This year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Beedie Luminaries decided to increase the total number of scholarships from 105 to 128.
Surrey-area scholarship winners this year are Devendra Dutta, Zeba Totakhil, Trang Nguyen, Orla Moore, Fatima Mushtaq, Resina (Ye Na) Kim, Michal Oqbe, Naailah Shah, Laiba Abbas, Zainab Osman, Mumtaz Sultan, Kaitlin Law, Emma Pflanz, Madison Brown, Emma (Minju) Kim, Misbah Memon, Samar Kapoor, Chakriya Rodkhong, Abishek Kanagasabay, Dawson Ho, Tayyib Chohan, Parneet Bhatha and Harman Mann.
The full list of this year’s winners, from 64 high schools, is posted to beedieluminaries.ca.
“These students have demonstrated resilience, grit, academic readiness and the determination needed to succeed,” says a post on the website.
In addition to financial adversity, “the recipients demonstrated resilience, grit, academic readiness, and the determination to succeed – with many sharing compelling personal stories of overcoming challenges.”
Surrey’s Michal Oqbe is a first-generation university student in her family.
“Becoming one of the Beedie Luminaries has presented me with such a great opportunity for achieving my future dreams, and for that I am forever grateful,” Oqbe said in a news release. “With this scholarship, I can positively influence my younger siblings but most importantly change the world.”
In addition to financial assistance of up to $40,000 each, recipients are also paired with mentors, and offered paid summer internship opportunities, Stay on Track student support, invitations to special events and access to the Beedie Luminaries online community.
The application period for the 2021 cohort will open this fall.