Four high school students from Richmond have been awarded scholarships from the Horatio Alger Association of Canada.
A total of 170 need-based scholarships worth $5,000 each were given out to high school students who have overcome adversity and are seeking a university education.
One of them, Joey Huang, a Grade 12 student Burnett secondary, plans on pursuing a career in technology at the executive level of an international corporation.
Huang, who chaired the Richmond Student District Council Organization (RSDCO), said her mother “left everything that was familiar to her and took care of me by herself” when immigrating to Canada.
“Due to a language barrier, she had difficulties forming new friendships and getting a well-paid job. Despite this, she was an individual with strength of character to surmount insurmountable setbacks.
“She not only honed her English skills but also worked relentlessly at a lower-paid job to earn income for us.”
While in Grade 7, Huang’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, which brought with it more financial hardships and social barriers.
“Luckily, she is doing well now. Because of this, I was very independent at a young age, seeking opportunities for myself with an indomitable spirit akin to my mother,” added Huang.
Another recipient, Tony Tan, is in Grade 12 at MacNeill secondary and has already been admitted to the University of Toronto at St. George Campus.
“I plan to study Life Sciences there, pursuing a Bachelor in Biophysics or Geochemistry. I have a passion for the sciences and hope to create an impact in my community,” Tan told the Richmond News, via email.
Tan was born in Toronto and during his childhood he grew up in the U.S. before moving to Richmond in 2012.
He’s had to overcome many hardships in his life but has “learned to persevere through my adversities and stay optimistic.
“Every day, I am motivated to inspire others and excel in the community.”
Tan said he loves travelling the world, because it has “opened my horizons and has given me new perspectives that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Other recipients were Mia-Isabelle Alvarez, of Hugh Boyd secondary, and Melanie Kent, of McMath secondary.