A Kelowna teen is amongst 146 B.C. students to receive a $44,000 scholarship through the Beedie Luminaries.
Real estate developer and Beedie owner Ryan Beedie's foundation Beedie Luminaries today announced that it will provide up to $6.9 million toward scholarships.
Beedie launched the scholarship program to mark his 50th birthday, on Nov. 13, 2018, with a $50 million donation, and he has been adding money to the program since.
Money has helped funded scholarships through the years. Last year, for example, the foundation announced that it would provide up to $440,000 in new money for refugee education. A spokesman for the foundation told BIV that the foundation provided a total of $5.357 million in scholarships last year.
His registered foundation and non-profit society has so far awarded 625 scholarships to B.C. Grade 12, single-parent, refugee and graduate students.
The new scholarships are worth up to $44,000 each, and are set to be awarded to 116 Grade 12 students, 10 refugee and immigrant students and 20 single parents in B.C. Those awards total up to $6,424,000.
Kelowna student Abdul Alhamwi received one of those scholarships this year. He will attend UBCO.
“This scholarship from Beedie Luminaries means the world to me," Alhamwi said. "It has changed my life and will help me build my future. I recommend the Beedie Luminaries scholarship program to any student who wants to focus on post-secondary education.”
The foundation is also for the first time is also awarding 10 graduate studies awards valued at up to $50,000 each to previous Beedie Luminaries scholarship recipients who have finished their undergraduate degrees and are now pursuing graduate or second-entry undergraduate studies.
Scholarships this year include the first ones to refugees and immigrants, as part of what Beedie calls Refugee and Immigrant Student Education (RISE) awards.
His has a similar catchy acronym for scholarships to single parents: Single Parent Award for Resilience and Knowledge (SPARK) awards.
“We believe in reducing financial barriers to post-secondary education – both at the undergraduate and graduate level,” Beedie said.
“It has been inspiring to see the success that this talented and determined group of young people has achieved over the past four years."
Some students may not receive the entire amount of their scholarships either because they do not complete their programs, or because they are able to fund their studies for less money than the full value of the scholarship.
The scholarship program is Beedie's biggest philanthropy initiative.
He may be best known for the $22-million donation that he and late father Keith Beedie gave to SFU in 2011 to create the Beedie School of Business.
Beedie in 1993 joined the firm that his father founded in 1954. He became president in 2001, and then CEO. His father died in 2017 at the age of 91.
with files from Colin Dacre