By Mina Kerr-Lazenby, North Shore News.
Six North Shore Grade 12 students have been relieved of the financial pressures of further study with a selection of hefty grants from the Beedie Luminaries Scholarships.
Students from Carson Graham Secondary, Sutherland Secondary and West Vancouver Secondary were selected to each receive up to $44,000 from the $6.9 million worth of scholarships offered by the Beedie Luminaries Foundation.
The funds have been split between 116 Grade 12 students, 10 refugee and immigrant students and 20 single parents across British Columbia. They will be spread across four years, and will also come with access to mentors, student coaches, paid internships and ongoing support from the Beedie Luminaries community.
The grants are awarded to those who want to pursue advanced degrees and who show strong academic potential, but are limited financially.
“We believe in reducing financial barriers to post-secondary education – both at the undergraduate and graduate level,” said the foundation’s creator Ryan Beedie, a West Vancouver real estate developer and philanthropist. “That is why, as our first cohort finishes their bachelor’s degrees, we want to continue providing support for Beedie Luminaries students who plan to pursue advanced degrees and who have been outstanding ambassadors of our program.”
Beedie said it was “inspiring” to see the success that the “talented and determined” selected students had achieved over the previous four years.
“I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish as they move forward to the next chapter of their lives,” he said.
This year’s Grade 12 recipients come from 67 high schools in 29 communities, with 41 per cent of the students selected being the first in their immediate family to embark on higher education.
Alongside the obtaining of a university degree, other students will also use the funds to attend trade school and vocational training.
From the North Shore, the selected students include Rahad Nourmand, Narges Naseri, Sam Salehi and Jason Arnold from Carson Graham Secondary who will be going on to study at The University of British Columbia (UBC) and Capilano University; Kian Oliver from Sutherland Secondary, who will continue at the University of Victoria; and Sihyun Pyo from West Vancouver Secondary, who will further studies at UBC.
“Receiving this scholarship from Beedie Luminaries is an amazing opportunity that eliminates the financial burden associated with post-secondary,” said Nourmand. “For other students, applying for a Beedie Luminaries scholarship is an unmissable opportunity.”