Eight Surrey-area students are among 2021 winners of post-secondary scholarships from Horatio Alger Association of Canada.
In total this year, the charitable organization will give 170 “need-based scholarships” to high school students who have overcome adversity and are seeking a university education.
The winners include 10 recipients of the $10,000 Horatio Alger National Entrepreneurial Scholarships, awarded to students who demonstrate a desire and ability to be entrepreneurial in a chosen field, and 160 Horatio Alger Canadian Scholarships valued at $5,000 each.
The Surrey-area recipients this year include Mishael Abu-Samhan, a Queen Elizabeth Secondary student who won a National Entrepreneurial Scholarship. There are also seven Canadian Scholarship winners, including Jae Hee Hong (Fraser Heights Secondary), Judi Maalouf (North Surrey Secondary), Kajal Mishra (Princess Margaret), Jamie Steeves (Frank Hurt), Kelly Tang (Fraser Heights), Yueran Tie (Fleetwood Park) and Angelina Wu (Fleetwood Park).
The full list of scholarship winners is posted to horatioalger.ca.
Entrepreneurial Scholarship winner Mishael Abu-Samhan, 17, will attend either UBC or SFU next year.
“I’ve been accepted by both schools, but I’m still weighing the pros and cons of each,” Mishael told the Now-Leader. “That said, my tentative plan is to earn a B.A in Political Science, followed by a J.D in Criminal Law.”
Horatio Alger scholarships are awarded annually to “deserving high school students in financial need who have overcome significant adversity while demonstrating strength of character, strong academics, a commitment to pursuing higher education as well as a desire to contribute to society.”
It’s all a “dream come true” for Mishael.
“When I was filling out the application, I was really only gunning for the $5,000 Canadian Scholarship, but winning the National Entrepaneurial one has been a blessing in every sense of the word,” said Mishael, who immigrated with his familiy to Canada from Amman, Jordan in 2005.
“So far, this is the only scholarship I have earned,” he added. “I also received distinction as a semi-finalist for the Loran scholarship, but I didn’t win any money for that one. In terms of applying for more, that’s constantly on my mind. Currently, I have applied to roughly 15 scholarships, but my goal is to finish the year with 30 applications.”
Of note, Horatio Alger, Jr., was a prolific author in the 19th and early 20th centuries “whose books inspired readers to work hard and persevere through adversity,” according to a website post. “Alger’s books – 128 in all – recount how a ‘can-do spirit’ and individual initiative can allow anyone to achieve their dreams, regardless of circumstances.”