Developer Ryan Beedie's Beedie Luminaries foundation today announced plans to provide to refugees up to 10 scholarships worth up to $44,000 each.
The move aligns with today being United Nations-designated World Refugee Day.
Beedie launched his education-focused foundation in November 2018 with a $50 million donation that coincided with his 50th birthday. The foundation so far has awarded a total of 487 scholarships to Grade 12 students and single parents.
To be eligible for a scholarship through what the foundation is calling its Refugee and Immigrant Student Education (RISE) program, applicants need to be between 20 and 35 years old, and be referred by one of Beedie Luminaries’ partners: Immigrant Services Society of BC, the Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communitites (MOSAIC), or select B.C.-based locations of Settlement Workers in Schools programs in B.C. schools.
Beedie said he has seen the challenges that adult refugees face in accessing post-secondary education, and having their skills recognized by local employers.
“With crises in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere increasing the number of displaced people to unprecedented levels, it is more important than ever that we support refugees who come to Canada in obtaining the education that they need to restart their careers and rebuild their families’ lives," said Beedie, whose development company is also simply named Beedie.
Beedie is likely best known for the $22-million donation that he and late father Keith Beedie gave to SFU in 2011 to create the Beedie School of Business.
Beedie in 1993 joined the firm that his father founded in 1954. He became president in 2001, and then CEO. His father died in 2017 at the age of 91.