RE Mountain IB Students Shine with Prestigious Scholarships

June 3, 2021

Soon to be grads discuss overcoming adversity, gender, and STEM

It’s an exciting time for grade 12 students. Many are hearing back from universities about applications and scholarships and prepping for graduation. Hundreds of students in the Langley School District are celebrating achievements and a few of them at RE Mountain’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Program have received some prestigious awards.

Grade 12 student Olivia Chen Xu has received a Schulich Leader Scholarship of $80,000 for four years. The award, which is deemed Canada’s most coveted undergraduate STEM scholarship, is handed out to only 50 students across the country annually.

Xu says winning many math competitions over the years and a strong passion for STEM helped her stand out among her peers. She’s hoping young girls can follow her lead.

“I think there is this stereotype that women cannot be successful in the STEM field which is totally not true. I think we are born the same. We have the same potential, and we should be given the same opportunity in whatever field we want to pursue,” says Xu.

“I think having women role models in STEM really encourages younger women students to pursue their passions in STEM.”

Xu will be heading east to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario to study computer science. Her goal is to one day work for a technology company and help make improvements in our world.

Another IB student and soon to be graduate Deeba Mostafaie-Mehr is the recipient of the International Major Entrance Scholarship of $80,000 for four years, and the Outstanding International Student Award of $20,000 for one year, to the University of British Columbia. These scholarships are awarded to exceptional international students.

“I just think any achievement is something to be proud of, doesn’t matter whether it is academic, sport, art, anything that someone is good at should be celebrated, and especially as women in a world where a lot of the time our achievement is downplayed,” explains Mehr.

She says she is keeping her education options open but is looking towards a career in International Relations or Technology.

“I think simply taking International Relations would really help me understand what sorts of things like the different factors that have caused different types of adversity across the world,” adds Mehr.

“When you understand the root causes then it can be much easier to come up with the solution.”

One of her aspirations is to one day work at the United Nations.

Grade 12 student Setare Maleki Rizi has received the Beedie Luminaries Scholarship of $40,000 to the University of British Columbia. It is known to be a scholarship for “students with potential who are facing financial adversity.”

“I grew up half of my life in Iran and life is pretty different there compared to how we live here, especially as a female. I talked a lot about my experience and the discriminations I’ve faced, the hardships we faced when we migrated come to Canada, and how it was really hard for me to adjust to this new style of living where you have complete freedom,” reflects Maleki.

Like all of her peers, she has overcome many obstacles in this past year.

“I actually had a huge personality growth from COVID, and quarantine and I don’t think that would’ve happened without COVID and without growing through all the challenges with school, with family stuff and everything. I think just having a positive view towards challenges is definitely something I’ve learned this year,” she explains.

Maleki says she is planning to study Engineering at UBC in the fall. She shares a message to younger students like her.

“Don’t be afraid to express yourself as the person you are. I know sometimes the environment kind of forces you to be a certain way but there is always a way to get out of that environment and express your true self. Regarding scholarships, definitely apply to as many as you can, especially if you are a female and especially if you are going into STEM because universities love that.”

“We are incredibly proud of all of our students and their accomplishments over the last two years in the IB program. The last year has been extremely challenging yet they have risen up and demonstrated strength, grit, perseverance and resilience. Their hard work and leadership has been inspirational to all of us at REMSS,” remarks Tina Costopoulos, IB Coordinator at RE Mountain.

The Langley School District congratulates all scholarship recipients and graduates of 2021.