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3 Oak Bay High grads earn prestigious Beedie scholarships, mentorship

Funding $11,000 a year for up to 4 years, the monetary support also comes with mentors
This fall Jasper Palov, Oak Bay High grad of 2023, plans to take general sciences at the University of British Columbia. (Courtesy Jasper Palov)

Oak Bay High boasts three Beedie Luminaries in its graduating class of 2023.

Reed Greenwood, Francis Meacham and Jasper Palov each earned a Beedie Luminary Scholarship. It’s an award that supports kids who show grit, determination and heart in overcoming obstacles in life and supports them in reaching post-secondary goals, said teacher Scott Alexander, whose duties include scholarship prep at Oak Bay High.

“What I so appreciate about the Beedie Luminaries is that they really listen to these kids’ stories and sought to understand what their respective desires and goals are, and then they really lean into the support for these kids,” Alexander said. “For Oak Bay to earn three of these awards that are offered province-wide is exceptional – I am so proud of these kids.”

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Scholarships such as the Beedie require a fair amount of effort, but Palov has been researching, preparing and planning his future for years. This fall he plans to take general sciences at the University of British Columbia.

“It’s one of the best medical schools in Canada,” he said. “I’m hoping to apply to med school in my third year to study psychology.”

Palov enjoyed his time at Oak Bay High and credits his diverse portfolio for earning the scholarship. A well-funded school with good programs, he particularly enjoyed the basketball and volleyball programs. And for his first three years did arts programs as well. All along the way, he was supported by teachers and tutors.

“I never once felt lost.”

He created a diverse portfolio featuring writing, arts, sports and academics. The sweat equity spilled outside the school – he balanced work, school and fun – working full time as head expediter at Finn’s restaurant in Victoria and volunteering for things such as Cops for Cancer fundraising at Oak Bay High. Having moved west in time for Grade 8, Palov also returned to his roots in Montreal the last couple summers as a volunteer teaching water polo.

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While the scholarship is a “huge factor for education” at $11,000 a year for up to four years, the monetary support also comes with mentors. Palov expects those will be critical helping navigate medical school.

“They can choose specific mentors based on your goals. I’m excited about that.”

Looking forward is something Meacham started early in his high school experience. In Grade 10 he found a way to learn about philosophy despite Oak Bay not having a club or class available.

“I couldn’t really teach myself about this topic, so I applied to the accelerated entry program and scheduled my Grade 11 year around an introduction to metaphysics class at UVic,” Meacham said. “I did the same for introduction to anthropology in Grade 12,” he said.

Meacham now anticipates university graduation and reflecting back on impacts of the scholarship.

“I know people say to take things one day at a time and enjoy the journey, but I can’t help thinking about where I’ll be in four years,” he said. “I hope the gratitude I have then is somehow bigger and brighter than what I feel now because that’s going to be an amazing moment. I can only imagine the friends I’m going to make, the experts I’m going to connect with and how far this chain reaction of networking and passion can take me. This award is something like a promise of barriers being moved aside, and a series of doors opening for all in my cohort.”

He holds grand but achievable hopes for the future, targeting a PhD with some combination of anthropology, evolutionary biology, neuroendocrinology and genetics.

“I’d love to be involved in research, work overseas, write books, and teach university students. As for next year, I have a lot of excitement for the friendships I’ll make in my classes. I want to work on my novel, paint another large-scale abstract painting, and maybe travel to Australia.”

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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