It was a day as usual at the school for Langley’s Blerta Konjuhi. She was almost done with her classes and walking in the hallway with her friend.
Suddenly, the phone rang.
It was a call from Beedie Luminaries Foundation to inform the Grade 12 student that she has been selected as one of the recipients of the $40,000 scholarship.
Konjuhi was surprised. She had been eagerly waiting to hear back from the judges since she gave the interview a couple of weeks ago.
“I was over the moon… full of excitement,” recalled Konjuhi, a student of Langley Secondary School.
She was all filled with happy emotions.
“I couldn’t say anything but my friend just knew right away.”
The scholarship offered a much-needed relief to Konjuhi, who was a bit stressed about her post-secondary education plans.
“It [the scholarship] does really remove the financial barriers that I do face in my household,” she explained.
The 17-year-old has been accepted into Simon Fraser University, where she plans to study biomedical physiology.
In addition to being a peer tutor, Konjuhi is also part of the school’s AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination) – a four-year university preparation program designed to help students achieve their post-secondary goals.
Kendall Sewell, who helped Konjuhi with her application, is the AVID program coordinator and Konjuhi’s leadership and English teacher. She described the teenager as the “epitome of being an exemplary student.”
Konjuhi joined the AVID program four years ago, and the two have known each other since then.
A recipient of the top student award in multiple subjects, Konjuhi has consistently been on the A and effort honour roll.
“She has a very strong work ethic and is well respected by staff and students alike for her academic achievements and her efforts as a peer tutor,” shared Sewell.
“A lot of students see her [Konjuhi] as a mentor.”
A resident of Langley City, Konjuhi has contributed to many community initiatives, including fundraising for adopted family Christmas hampers, schoolwide Terry Fox run, serving the LSS anti-racism and diversity committee, helping Canadian Blood Services, peer meditation, mentoring at Boys and Girls Club, and more.
“She is genuine, engaging with her peers, teachers, and community members with an authentic and charismatic enthusiasm,” said Sewell.
Her teacher believes that Konjuhi’s community service initiatives and academic excellence made her an ideal student to recieve the scholarship.
This year, Ryan Beedie, through his foundation, Beedie Luminaries, awarded $6.2 million in scholarships to 140 Grade 12 students and 17 single parents in B.C. This is the largest number of scholarships that Beedie Luminaries has awarded at one time since it was established four years ago.
“Year after year, I am amazed and inspired by the sheer number of bright, driven and highly engaged students who apply to the Beedie Luminaries program and the promise that they show,” said Ryan Beedie.
“I am elated to be able to extend our support to more students than ever before so that even more talented British Columbians can pursue higher education and reach their full potential,” he added.
This year’s Grade 12 recipients of the Beedie scholarship come from 81 high schools in 30 communities, with 38 per cent being the first in their immediate family to pursue post-secondary education and 55 per cent coming from single-parent or legal guardian families, shared Ryaan Beedie.
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