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North Saanich student among two local winners of $40,000 Beedie Luminaries scholarship

Stelly’s and Vic High grads receive financial support for post-secondary studies
Stelly’s Secondary student and North Saanich resident Merril McMillan will use her Beedie Luminaries scholarship to pursue a Bachelor of Psychology at UBC or Queen’s University. (Courtesy of Beedie Luminaries)

Two local Grade 12 students have received scholarships valued at up to $40,000 each.

Stelly’s Secondary grad and North Saanich resident Merril McMillan, and Victoria High School grad and Saanich resident Huda Chaaban were awarded the funding up to $40,000 to cover post-secondary education costs. They will also receive a personal mentor, paid work opportunities and invitations to special events.

Beedie Luminaries selects determined, resilient and optimistic students who perform well academically and are also engaged in the greater world. Of this year’s chosen students, 35 per cent are the first in their immediate families to pursue post-secondary education and 75 per cent are from single-parent or legal guardian families.

Victoria High student and Saanich resident Huda Chaaban is one of two local recipients of this year’s Beedie Luminaries scholarships. (Courtesy of Beedie Luminaries)

McMillan, 18, who was often anxious as a kid and whose parents divorced while she was in high school, has always enjoyed sports and commended Stelly’s athletic community for helping her break out of her bubble.

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“It felt difficult at times balancing all the different clubs and classes just to help my mom, but it gave me resilience and coping mechanisms to know how to branch myself out and manage all aspects of life, including my own mental health,” she said.

McMillan plans to study psychology at Camosun College in September and hopes to become a licensed sports psychologist. Her scholarship will cover the costs of later transferring to UBC or Queen’s University to pursue her degree in psychology. She said the award has taken a huge weight off her shoulders financially.

This year, Beedie Luminaries awarded $5.1 million to 112 grade 12 students and 15 single parents hoping to pursue further education in BC. It’s the third year the program has funded high school grads and the first awarding single parents.

“Over the past three years, I have been blown away by the students who we have met through our program and can’t wait to see the impact that they will make in the world,” said Beedie Luminaries founder Ryan Beedie in a statement. He launched the non-profit society in 2018 with a $50-million donation on his 50th birthday.

For information on how to apply for next year’s scholarship cohort, go to

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