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Kelowna grad earns prestigious $40k scholarship

Cady Gau says she is grateful for the life-changing scholarship
Cady Gau is a Rutland Senior Secondary School graduate. (Beedie Luminaries photo)

A Kelowna student is excited to start the next chapter of her life after receiving a life-changing scholarship.

Cady Gau is Rutland Senior Secondary graduate.

She had always planned to pursue her post-secondary education, but she wasn’t sure how she was going to pay her way through.

So when she found out she won $40,000 from the Beedie Luminaries scholarship, she and her family shed many happy tears.

“Financial adversity was a huge barrier for me. This money – it’s life-changing,’ Gau said.

“It’s given me that extra boost of confidence because even if I didn’t get the money, I was still going to go to school.

“But there would’ve always been that lingering sense of doom almost, knowing that I didn’t actually have enough money to pay for (university) and the uncertainty of debt.

“This scholarship just really provides that security.”

Gau, like other applicants, submitted a video application talking about what university program she hoped to get into and what she wanted to focus on when she did get in.

She spoke about how creativity meant a lot to her and how she wanted to get into a fine arts program at UBC Okanagan with the goal of using art to teach and empower others.

Gau added that while winning money to fund her education was exciting, what most touched her was the boost of confidence she felt.

“It’s very empowering to know that a group of people already believe in me and believe I can succeed in whatever I want to do.”

The Beedie Luminaries founder Ryan Beedie awarded a total of $5.1 million to 112 Grade 12 students and 15 single-parents throughout the province to help them pursue higher education. “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,” Beedie said in a statement.

For her part, Gau wanted to encourage her fellow graduates, as well as those coming up behind her.

“Have the drive to face whatever it is, whatever it looks like to achieve your goals and maybe not even to achieve them right away, but just to try,” she said.

“Listen to yourself and pay attention to the hints you get from your body, mind and heart that tell you what truly is important to you.”


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Twila Amato

About the Author: Twila Amato

Twila was a radio reporter based in northern Vancouver Island. She won the Jack Webster Student Journalism Award while at BCIT and received a degree in ancient and modern Greek history from McGill University.
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