There’s nothing typical about how Ryan Beedie chose to celebrate his 50th birthday.
The Burnaby developer and president of the Beedie Group marked the milestone by announcing a $50-million donation to Beedie Luminaries, a new scholarship program he helped create.
Beedie Luminaries is a non-profit venture that aims to help students facing financial barriers overcome those challenges to succeed in post-secondary studies and through to their careers.
“We believe that your future should not be determined by your circumstance,” Beedie said at an event on Tuesday at Moscrop Secondary School, his old junior high school (he attended the school before it served students in grades 11 and 12).
“My philosophy is pretty simple. When you do well, you give back. … When people have success, I think in many cases, sometimes they can discount the aspect of good fortune, and in our case we’ve been very fortunate in so many respects, and I look at it and I think well, we should take some of that good fortune and reinvest back into the community that made it possible to begin with.”
Led by executive director Martina Meckova, Beedie Luminaries staff will evaluate scholarship applicants based on academic readiness, financial situation and the “potential, the drive and determination for success,” according to Beedie.
This year, the program will accept 50 students from across the Lower Mainland. Each student will receive either $10,000 per year for a four-year bachelor degree program (up to $40,000) or $7,500 per year for a two-year diploma or trades program (up to $15,000)
“Our program is going to do much more, however, than simply just fund the education. We’re going to provide ongoing support to ensure academic success. … We’re going to support students throughout, not just with financial support.”
Applications are now being accepted for Beedie Luminaries’ pilot year. The first group of students will be announced in May 2019. The goal is to eventually select 100 students per year from across British Columbia into the Beedie Luminaries program. For more information about Beedie Luminaries and eligibility rules, go to beedieluminaries.ca.