Janet Chow Hatano, Chief Customer Service Officer with Coast Capital Savings (left), presents Serena Bonneville (right) of Surrey with a Standing Tall Award, one of 25 such awards offered annually to individuals that demonstrate courage, determination, and resiliency in overcoming significant personal challenges to achieve their education. The Award includes $5,000 for the winner to help them pursue their education goals.
Coast Capital Savings has awarded $145,000 to 35 deserving students in B.C. communities, including Surrey, through the Coast Capital Savings Education Awards program. The funds support recipients with post-secondary education expenses.
Twenty-five students are receiving Standing Tall awards valued at $5,000 each. Standing Tall awards are given to extraordinary youth who have made a positive impact on their communities in the face of personal adversity. An additional ten students will receive Citizenship Awards, valued at $2,000 each and given to students who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in all facets of their lives.
Surrey resident Serena Bonneville received one of the credit union’s Standing Tall awards in recognition of her dedication to graduating high school with her classmates, continuing to fulfill her role as Head Girl at her school and pursuing a degree in business, all despite being recently diagnosed with leukemia. Serena has been accepted into the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria this fall.
“Since my diagnosis, I have rejected the opinion that I could no longer do something because of the cancer, whether it was academics, sports or anything else,” explains Serena. “Finding strength to persevere is tough, especially when given unjust circumstances, and I hope that the strength that I’ve found will inspire others find their strength, resilience and optimism as well through my blog. Thank you to Coast Capital for this award and their dedication to supporting our community’s youth.”
More than 500 B.C. students applied for the 35 scholarships. The successful recipients were selected by local adjudication committees made up of over 100 Coast Capital staff volunteers. The credit union’s awards program is an annual tradition and part of the company’s larger community strategy to help build a richer future for youth in their local communities.
This year marks the first year a student will be awarded the Beth Hutchinson Standing Tall Award. This special Standing Tall Award has been established to honour 2012 Standing Tall Award recipient Beth Hutchinson, who lost her battle with cancer on October 25, 2013 at the age of 20 years. Beth exemplified the spirit and commitment that the Standing Tall Awards represent. The recipient of the 2014 Beth Hutchinson Standing Tall Award is Emily King of Maple Ridge.
“Every year we are truly amazed by the applications we receive for our Education Awards Program, and this year is no exception,” says Wendy Lachance, Director of Community Leadership for Coast Capital Savings. “These young men and women are inspirations not only to other youth but to all of us, as they set an example of how to triumph over adversity, never give up on your dreams and ultimately succeed.”
Other youth-focused initiatives lead by the credit union include leadership-building student internships through the Coast Capital Youth Team program, and the company’s three regional Young Leaders Community Councils which have been charged with the adjudication of Coast Capital’s community investment grants, awarded quarterly to youth-focused organizations across B.C.
About Coast Capital Savings
Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s second largest credit union, owned by its 512,000 members. It has 50 branches in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island regions of British Columbia and has exciting plans to grow. Product innovations include Canada’s first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. Coast Capital offers one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ and was named one of 2014’s BC Top Employers. It is a member of Canada’s Best Managed Companies Platinum Club and an Imagine Canada Caring Company.