Samim Rezaei is one of three local students to receive the 2022 Coast Capital Standing Tall Education Award. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Samim Rezaei is one of three local students to receive the 2022 Coast Capital Standing Tall Education Award. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Three Langley students take home $3,500 each

Majority of the Standing Tall Education Awards winners from BIPOC community

As a new school year kicks off, Coast Capital is celebrating 44 youths across the province who have been named as recipients of the financial cooperative’s annual Standing Tall Education Awards – including a few from Langley.

Locally, the 2022 Coast Capital Standing Tall Education Award was presented to three Langley students who have performed “exceptionally” despite facing various adversities.

Samim Rezaei is one of three local students to receive the award.

Recognized for his courage in overcoming various struggles as an immigrant from Afghanistan, Rezaei was honoured for showing perseverance and excellence in his high school studies.

A recent R.E. Mountain Secondary graduate, Rezaei is working towards his dream of being a mechanic and ultimately hopes to become an entrepreneur operating his own business.

“Receiving this award helps bolster my financial ability to pursue an education in business and work towards a bright future,” said Rezaei, one of two winners who spoke to Langley Advance Times about the experience.

“I am immensely grateful to Coast Capital for selecting me as a Standing Tall Education Award recipient.”

Along with Rezaei, Vanguard Secondary’s Trinity Nyari, too, was honoured.

Currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in child education, Nyari was awarded for showing determination and working through various personal and financial hardships to reach her academic goals.

“I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of some of my teachers,” said Nyari.

“Being selected as a Standing Tall Education Award recipient has further bolstered my belief in myself and given me the confidence to follow my dreams,” she continued.

The awards program, established in 2004, recognizes resilient youth who have risen against the odds to pursue their post-secondary education. Maureen Young, vice president of social purpose, shared that the organization looks at more than academic performance to celebrate the students’ achievements.

“We look beyond their GPA,” Young commented.

“As a social purpose organization, Coast Capital is committed to building better futures through investing in three key areas that we strongly believe are essential to helping Canadians reach their goals and ultimately realize a better future for themselves and their families.” Young explained.

“One of those areas is focused on driving equitable access to education and training as that is a significant driver in helping individuals unlock financial opportunities. We recognize that access to post-secondary education is not always within financial reach due to systemic inequalities and believe that small steps can help to move the needle. We are committed to contributing to that shift through programs like our Standing Tall Education Awards.”

Each winner was awarded $3,500 to cover tuition and living expenses.

For the first time in the program’s history, 68 per cent of awards were given to students identified as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), in an effort to help break down barriers for these historically marginalized communities.

Since its establishment 18 years ago, the program has supported more than 1,000 students in funding their post-secondary studies with an investment of nearly $2.9 million.

For more information about the Coast Capital Education Award Program, please visit: Coast Capital Youth Education Awards.

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RELATED: VIDEO: Aspiring to make a difference – scholarship makes it possible

READ MORE: $500,000 scholarship fund for Langley students announced

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