One hundred students from around the province received $250,000 scholarship money from a South Surrey couple and their family.
The Joseph Chung Scholarship Fund is in honour of Peter and Stephanie Chung’s son, who died in September of 2012.
The eighth annual scholarship award ceremony, which took place at the Calvary Worship Centre in Whalley Saturday (Jan. 25), has helped roughly 450 post-secondary students so far.
The Chungs, who wanted to honour their son Joseph, “wanted something good to come from their loss,” according to a release about the event. The two have been presenting the scholarships to students “they feel will best honour Joseph’s legacy.”
Joseph was on the autism spectrum and also had epilepsy. He was 32 when he died.
A message from Peter and Stephanie to the recipients says it had been their “wish for Joseph to receive the proper education to become a Christian leader, “but it seemed unlikely due to his conditions.”
“Now we realize that our dream can be fulfilled through bright minds like yours.”
Following the awards, Peter told the Now-Leader he and his family feel “really humbled” when they are able to help out the students.
“I encourage others to show love and stimulate each other to do good deeds,” he said.
Asked how it feels to hear students talk about how the scholarships have helped them and to hear their stories of struggles, Peter said, “You know, I went through that too. There was a moment when I was their age too. So, for me, it’s refreshing to see these people and also to see them grow and to think about what they may be in the future.
“I like to see these people really give it back to the community for the love they have received because of Joseph Chung scholarship.”
The Chungs also donated $1 million in December to the Surrey Hospital Foundation’s fundraising efforts for a renovated Children’s Health Centre at Surrey Memorial Hospital.