Langley grads recall emotional reaction after earning $40,000 scholarships

Setare Maleki, graduate of R.E. Mountain Secondary, (left) and Kyra Steinthorson, graduate of Langley Fine Arts School, (right) were awarded a Beedie Luminaries scholarship of up to $40,000. (Beedie Luminaries/Special to Langley Advance Times)Setare Maleki, graduate of R.E. Mountain Secondary, (left) and Kyra Steinthorson, graduate of Langley Fine Arts School, (right) were awarded a Beedie Luminaries scholarship of up to $40,000. (Beedie Luminaries/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Setare Maleki, graduate of R.E. Mountain Secondary was awarded a Beedie Luminaries scholarship of up to $40,000. (Beedie Luminaries/Special to Langley Advance Times)Setare Maleki, graduate of R.E. Mountain Secondary was awarded a Beedie Luminaries scholarship of up to $40,000. (Beedie Luminaries/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Kyra Steinthorson, graduate of Langley Fine Arts School, was awarded a Beedie Luminaries scholarship of up to $40,000. (Beedie Luminaries/Special to Langley Advance Times)Kyra Steinthorson, graduate of Langley Fine Arts School, was awarded a Beedie Luminaries scholarship of up to $40,000. (Beedie Luminaries/Special to Langley Advance Times)

A pair of Langley graduates said receiving a scholarship award means the privilege to focus on fulfilling their post-secondary dreams and not about its cost.

Kyra Steinthorson from Langley Fine Arts and Setare Maleki from R.E. Mountain Secondary schools are the recipients of a Beedie Luminaries scholarship of up to $40,000 each.

‘This scholarship means my education. It means freedom – freedom to focus on my education without stress of my financial struggle,” said Steinthorson. “I can be the best me that I can be because this scholarship has given me the freedom to do so.”

Steinthorson said she learned she was a recipient after listening to her voicemail.

“I happened to be standing in-front of my mirror so I was lucky to see my own reaction. I saw my jaw drop and my wide-eyes fill with tears,” she recalled.

“After the call, I ran outside to my dad… We both cried and when my mom got home, we all cried some more. It was a big moment that changed the course of my future.”

Steinhorson will be attending Capilano University in the fall.

The financial support, from Ryan Beedie, through his foundation, Beedie Luminaries, is gifted to British Columbia students who have faced life challenges and adversity with determination and resilience, according to the foundation.

“With three older siblings, I am not the first to attend post-secondary education, but I will be the first to finish my degree without any debt or without financial struggle,” Steinhorson noted.

“I am the first in my family to receive a scholarship, and I am grateful that I have this to safeguard my educational future.”

Maleki had a similar experience to Steinhorson in that she missed the original phone call from the foundation.

“I remember saying, ‘You’re lying’ on repeat and just shaking and crying,” she reflected. “It was just so surreal.”

Maleki also isn’t the first in her family to attend post-secondary, but the award has provided her relief.

“This scholarship is literally my hope and motivation to be the best version of myself and make my Beedie family proud, because that is the least I can do to show gratitude for their program,” she said.

Maleki will be attending the University of British Columbia to study applied science with a focus in engineering.

Both recipients have been recognized with numerous other awards and scholarships to aid their education.

READ MORE: Langley youth astound judges in annual community service awards

And to those coming up the ranks behind them, the pair had some wisdom to pass along.

“I learned this the hard way, but caring about your mental and physical health is so important. I want every young person to just realize that nothing is impossible, that hard work actually pays off sooner or later, and it’s never too late to seek a change in our lifestyle,” Maleki shared.

“Always seek advice and listen with an open heart. I have gotten to where I am today because of the unconditional support of my parents, teachers, and mentors who were guiding me with a helping hand. Be true to yourself and find passion in what you do,” Steinhorson said.

Beedie Luminaries has awarded $5.1 million in scholarships to 112 B.C. Grade 12 students as well as 15 single parents looking to pursue further education.

This is the third year the foundation has given scholarships to high school students and the first year that it has awarded them to single parents.

In addition to financial assistance of up to $40,000 per student, recipients are also paired with mentors, and offered paid work opportunities.

“What I love about this scholarship is the fact that they are here to listen to you, to recognize what you have gone through, not how high your grades are or how cool your extracurriculars are,” Maleki said.

“If you are a high school student who is hoping to pursue post-secondary in British Columbia, you must apply for this scholarship, because Beedie Luminaries is a scholarship program that recognizes who you are not just your trophies.”

Incoming Grade 12 students and single parents who are interested in applying to be part of next year’s cohort are encouraged to follow Beedie Luminaries on social media or visit beedieluminaries.ca. The application period for the 2022 cohort will open in fall 2021.


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