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Beedie Luminaries expands single parent scholarship program to northern B.C.

Clare D. – a SPARK 2021 cohort scholarship recipient

Beedie Luminaries, the scholarship foundation founded by Ryan Beedie, President of Beedie, announced today on National Single Parent Day that it is doubling the number of SPARK awards designed to help single parents in B.C. pursue further education. In 2022, the program will grant 30 scholarships worth up to $40,000 each to single parents facing financial adversity in B.C. The funds can be used towards full-time or part-time studies at B.C. post-secondary institutions.

“Last year, we received an incredible amount of compelling applications from single parents facing barriers to higher education, which inspired us to double the number of scholarships that we will be awarding this year,” said Ryan Beedie, in a news release. “We are also expanding the SPARK Program across B.C. via our growing network of community partners, which will allow more parents across the province to upgrade their skills and open more doors for themselves and their families.”

In addition to demonstrating financial need, single parents looking to apply to the program need to be referred by one of Beedie Luminaries’ community partners or be the parent of a Beedie Luminaries grade 12 scholarship recipient. This year, Beedie Luminaries added twelve new community partners: Atira, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, BC Council for Families, Family Services of the North Shore, Mosaic, New Relationship Trust, South Okanagan Immigrant & Community Services, The Cridge Centre for the Family, Up With Women, Urban Native Youth Association, Vancouver Coastal Health and Westcoast Family Centres.

These organizations complement Beedie Luminaries seven existing community partners: the Immigrant Services Society of BC, Mom2Mom, Mothers Matter, the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, the YWCA Metro Vancouver, Family Services of Greater Vancouver and the Minerva Foundation.

“Going back to school as a single parent can appear insurmountable at times, but I have been so moved by how much the people at Beedie Luminaries have believed in me and hoped for my success,” says Avital Kline, a first-year student in the midwifery program at UBC. “Before receiving this scholarship, I felt like my efforts to advance my education were invisible, but the recognition and support that I have received through the SPARK Program as well as the opportunity to meet other people who are in a similar situation to me has been encouraging and moving.”

In addition to financial support of up to $40,000 each, recipients will also be given access to mentors,  Stay on Trackstudent coaches, peer support groups and career development resources as well as access to the Beedie Luminaries online community and special events.

Beedie Luminaries launched on November 13, 2018 with a $50-million donation from Ryan Beedie to coincide with his 50th birthday. To date, the foundation has provided scholarships and support to 330 students, including the inaugural cohort of 15 SPARK scholarship recipients.

To learn more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit BeedieLuminaries.ca. The program is accepting applications starting today until April 21, 2022 at 9 a.m. PT. Successful applicants will be announced in June 2022.

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