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Langley STEM students shine as recipients of prestigious scholarships

Three students from R.E. Mountain Secondary recognized

Grade 12 students across the Langley School District have much to celebrate as they mark the end of their secondary school education, but three in particular shine as recipients of prestigious scholarships.

Students from R.E. Mountain’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Program have been recognized with some note-worthy awards to help them further succeed as they prepare to embark on post-secondary education in the fall.

Grade 12 student Setare Maleki Rizi has received the Beedie Luminaries Scholarship of $40,000 to the University of British Columbia (UBC).

“I grew up half of my life in Iran and life is pretty different there compared to how we live here, especially as a female,” Maleki reflected.

“I talked a lot about my experience and the discrimination I’ve faced, the hardships we faced when we migrated come to Canada, and how it was really hard for me to adjust to this new style of living where you have complete freedom,” she said about her scholarship application.

Like her peers, Maleki has overcome many obstacles.

“I actually had a huge personality growth from COVID, and quarantine and I don’t think that would’ve happened without COVID and without growing through all the challenges with school, with family stuff and everything,” she noted. “I think just having a positive view towards challenges is definitely something I’ve learned this year.”

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And to the younger students climbing up the ranks Maleki has some insight.

“Don’t be afraid to express yourself as the person you are. I know sometimes the environment kind of forces you to be a certain way but there is always a way to get out of that environment and express your true self.

Regarding scholarships, definitely apply to as many as you can, especially if you are a female and especially if you are going into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) because universities love that.”

Maleki plans to study Engineering at UBC this fall.

Grade 12 student Olivia Chen Xu received a Schulich Leader Scholarship of $80,000 over four years. The award, which is deemed Canada’s most coveted undergraduate STEM scholarship, is handed out to only 50 students across the country annually.

“I think there is this stereotype that women cannot be successful in the STEM field which is totally not true. I think we are born the same,” said Xu.

“We have the same potential, and we should be given the same opportunity in whatever field we want to pursue.”

Xu will be heading east to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario to study computer science. Her goal is to one day work for a technology company and help make improvements in our world.

Deeba Mostafaie-Mehr is the recipient of the International Major Entrance Scholarship of $80,000 over four years, and the Outstanding International Student Award of $20,000 for one year, to the University of British Columbia.

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These scholarships are awarded to exceptional international students.

“I just think any achievement is something to be proud of, doesn’t matter whether it is academic, sport, art, anything that someone is good at should be celebrated, and especially as women in a world where a lot of the time our achievement is downplayed,” Mehr said.

She is currently undecided where she will be in the fall, but says she is considering a career in International Relations or Technology.

Mehr’s aspires to one day work at the United Nations.


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