BIA Bursary

For further information on the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association Bursary please contact the DSBIA via email:

DSBIA Announces 2011 Bursary Winners

Each spring, the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association awards two outstanding local high school students with $500 bursaries to put toward their first year studies at SFU Surrey campus. This year’s recipients are: Tina Bui of Queen Elizabeth Secondary and Karim Abdulwahab of Kwantlen Park Secondary.

Tina is headed for the Business 1 program en route to a career as a Chartered Accountant. This math whiz and Green Team volunteer is looking forward to the Surrey campus’ small class sizes and high access to teachers and resources, and hopes to spend a semester in Korea as part of SFU’s international student exchange program. She also has a gift for creating humorous videos and parody songs.

Along with the $500 BIA bursary, Tina will be receiving the $2,000 SFU Surrey entrance award and another $300 from another local organization and plans to continue working at her long-term job at McDonald’s through the summer and the weekends to help offset school costs.

“I like to work with numbers and solve problems and want to learn more about investing so I can help my parents earn money so they don’t have to work so hard,” Tina says.

Karim’s commitment to serving his community comes from family tradition and values. Whether following his brother in medicine or working in the City of Surrey’s financial services, career is more than just making money for this teen leader. Currently enrolled in SFU Surrey biomedical physiology program, Karim’s academic excellence and community leadership in his faith community and school programs has earned him $4000 in bursaries. Along with his interest and aptitude in business and finance, he has been inspired by his brother’s fulfilling experiences while in medical training, and is also considering careers in Cardiology or Oncology,

“I want to give back to my community because it’s given so much to me,” says Karim. “I try to lead by example and help other young people learn to never stop believing in themselves; to stay away from the bad things in life and gear them towards helping others. When you help others, you help yourself.”


Kwantlen Park 2010 DSBIA Bursary Winner: Wing King Chung

The Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association awards $1,000.00 to two local graduating secondary students every summer. Based on academic excellence and community citizenship, the bursaries are to be used in business-related programs at SFU Surrey.

Wing King Chung, Kwantlen Park’s recipient, is moving steadily towards a career in Urban Development policy, Political Science and Economics. The past five years in Kwantlen Park’s Inter A Program, which focuses on comprehensive and cooperative education and leadership work within mixed age groups, has helped prepare him to be a future key player in regional urban planning.

He has worked diligently to be a positive role model for younger students and has contributed to a new examination concept, the Composite Exam, a project-based approach based on learning and evaluation.

He also has been working as a Birthday Host at Science World since December, 2009 and will continue there throughout his SFU education. Staff was so pleased with his work during his high school practicum they hired him to stay on as an employee. Along with the $1000 BIA bursary Wing will receive a $5000 entrance scholarship from SFU Surrey for achieving grades of 95% or higher, covering most of his first year tuition.

“I like Sciences and Humanities and enjoy applying them together in ways to help make things better,” says Wing, “and business is a way for me to do that. Urban Development fascinates me and I hope to make a positive difference in this area.”

With ten million people projected to live in Metro Vancouver by 2025 we will need brilliant and balanced young people like Wing at the helm.

Queen Elizabeth DSBIA 2010 Bursary Winner: Rajiv Kevin Kumar

Kevin Kumar is sailing into a bright future this fall with his $1,000 BIA educational bursary to Surrey SFU. Along with another $2,000 SFU academic award, he is charting a course for the Bachelor of Business Program, an MBA, and a career in marketing and entrepreneurship.

As Queen Elizabeth Secondary’s Vice President of Promotions and Fundraising for the school’s Roots and Rhythms event, he helped raise over $7,000 in April for Surrey Memorial Hospital’s new Emergency Room. This annual gala celebrates community multiculturalism through music and performance. He also served on Grad Council and enjoyed building enthusiasm for school events and doing PA announcements.

His love of sailing and the sea evolved from joining Sea Cadets in childhood to top sailing instructor in a prestigious Metro Vancouver yacht club. Achieving one of the top teen Sea Cadet ranks in Canada, he raced in sailing regattas representing BC and was provincial choice for the International Sea Cadet program hosted by Japan in 2009. After starting as a beginner sailing instructor at the Deep Cover Yacht Club just last summer, he was recently promoted to Head Instructor and Manager, where he will continue to work throughout his education at SFU.

“These bursaries will really help out a lot,” says Kevin. “My mom is a single parent and I have a younger brother too. She was so happy and excited when they announced my bursaries at commencement.

“Any kind of success is all about your thinking pattern. I know it sounds corny, but if you think you can do it and take away all the negative thoughts in your mind, you can do anything.”


DSBIA 2009 Bursary Winners

This year’s recipients of the Downtown Surrey BIA educational bursaries are Vanessa Ignacio, of Kwantlen Park Secondary and Kevin Chandra, of Queen Elizabeth Secondary.

Each spring, two local high school students receive $1,000 each towards their first year of studies at SFU Surrey in recognition for outstanding scholastic achievement and community citizenship.

“It was a complete surprise,” says Vanessa. “After students fill out general applications, our councilor, Miss Kenney, submits them. I was getting discouraged that I hadn’t won any of the others then suddenly I heard my name. It was so fantastic.”

She also received an SFU entry bursary of $3,500 rewarding grades above 90% which she will use this September in Business Administration and first year Sciences. With a focus on economics and finance, Vanessa envisions her future as a CEO of a large corporation producing environmentally-sound vehicles.

“People tell me it’s a very male-dominated field and I always wanted to change the stereotype.”

Since emigrating from the Philippines two years ago, Vanessa has achieved a 92% scholastic average, learned Spanish, worked part-time, volunteered with Surrey Parks & Rec, and won two scholarships, all with English as her second language.

“My parents are so happy I’ve had all these achievements and they’re looking forward to more.”

Kevin Chandra has always been one of those kids that love to take things apart to see how they work.

“Nothing was safe in my house, not even the TV remote control,” says Kevin. I guess it’s natural that I’m interested in engineering. I just want to invent something new.”

Kevin is entering SFU Surrey this September in the Mechatronics branch of the Engineering program, focusing on electronics, software and electrical engineering. He was also one of ten grads out of 250, to receive the $500 Queen Elizabeth Alumni Scholarship for academic excellence. While on Grad Council, he co-organized a major charity event this spring to raise

money for Surrey Memorial Hospital’s new Emergency ward. “Roots & Rhythms” raised $6,000 and showcased the community’s diverse roots and culminated with a multicultural Wedding Show where he modeled a traditional South Asian groom’s attire.

“Miss Beck and the whole career section here do an excellent job. They let us know what’s out there for us and keep encouraging us. Kids should try a little bit of everything offered at school. You’ll end up liking something and you just may get a scholarship.”

2008 BIA Bursary Winner – Kwantlen Park Secondary

Daveena Jagpal was thrilled to receive a financial awards this spring from the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association’s Business Education Scholarship program.

She was chosen by a committee of Kwantlen teachers out of nearly 100 student applicants for the DSBIA bursary in recognition for her outstanding academic performance, business aspirations, and commitment to community.

She begins her career in earnest, as a student in the SFU Surrey Business Administration faculty with a major in accounting and a minor in finances.

“I know being a chartered accountant is a tougher goal but I know I can do it. They are in demand and more versatile,” says Daveena, “and I like math and organization. I was inspired by a visiting accountant on Professional Day in Grade 6 and I’ve worked towards that goal ever since. Believe me, those Professional Days really work.”

She is very active in the Indo-Canadian community, performing with the Kwantlen Parek Bhangra dance team at numerous events. “It’s such a great way to stay connected with my culture and help others learn about it.”

She also served on Student Council and Grad Committee and was Kwantlen’s Fundraising Team Captain for the Canadian Cancer Society.

“Always have something to work towards, and never give up.” Wise words from a little whirlwind with a very bright future.

2008 BIA Bursary Winner – Queen Elizabeth Secondary

Kyle Krystalowich is one of two local grade 12 students recently awarded a $1,000 business education bursary to SFU Surrey by the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association.

An in-school scholarship committee of teachers chose Kyle for the Business Futures category in recognition of his business interest and potential, academic achievement, and community participation. The prize will be applied to his first year tuition in SFU Surrey’s Business Faculty.

“SFU Surrey has one of the best business programs and faculties in western Canada,” says Kyle, “and has a great student community with lots of activities. I wanted to stay in my community, and with the quality of program and minimal commute, it was a perfect option.”

Kyle was hooked on business with his first accounting class in Grade 11, enjoying working through case studies and business problems and continued with economics courses in Grade 12. “I was intrigued by how the economic world goes ‘round.”

He balances his academic life with organized sports and Surrey City lifeguarding, working at North Surrey Rec Centre pool this summer before attending SFU.

Currently interested in accounting, which has nine specialties to choose from, Kyle plans a CGA career, first for a large company then for himself.

“My inspiration for success? Do something that interests you and you enjoy and give it all you’ve got.”

2007 Downtown Surrey BIA Bursaries

In 2007, two outstanding local teens each received $1,000 bursaries from the DSBIA.

Simi Brar, of Kwantlen Park, and Hans Aisake, of Queen Elizabeth, are both heading to SFU Surrey this September with big plans for the future.

“Our scholarship committee looks for excellence in community and school service, skill level, marks, business ability and business career plans,” says Rick Minkler, committee co-chair and Career Facilitator at Kwantlen Park. Simi has all she needs to be very successful in business.”

Besides her academic achievements, she is also very involved in her Indo-Canadian community as a musician and dancer with the Punjab Cultural Arts Club, often performing at local events, and plays on her school’s basketball and volleyball teams.

“After my MBA from SFU, I see myself taking over and building up my dad’s trucking companies. I want to be the first local Indo-Canadian woman to make it big in business.”

Hans Aisake is a real modern-day ‘Renaissance Man’ who promises to “do everyone proud,” in robotical or software engineering.

“I am really looking forward to starting in the Science I cohort at SFU this fall; the class sizes and variety of courses really appeal to me – so much better than UBC or on the mountain.”

When he’s not building robots, he’s peer-tutoring at school in math & sciences for grades 8-to-12, playing rugby, or running track & field. And for a change of pace, he plays a little alto sax and guitar. “I try to be a balanced person – to keep well-rounded in everything.”

In ten years he sees himself traveling and working overseas. “My ideal job is lead designer for an engineering team for all the latest communications technology. And hopefully, by then, women will have discovered me,” he says, winking.

Countoures Awarded 2006 DSBIA Bursary

Emmanuel Countoures has been awarded the first Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association Bursary of $1,000. Developed to support academic excellence in the  community, the DSBIA Bursary is a scholarship offered to students who will be pursuing higher education at SFU’s Surrey campus.

After completing his Bachelor’s Degree, Emmanuel will work toward his Master’s in Computing at SFU’s Faculty of Applied Science. His long-range plans include a career in the computer game industry. Passionate about game design, his aim is job satisfaction. “I admire someone who loves what they do, regardless of financial reward.” In addition to English, he speaks Greek and conversational French, acts, and does stand-up comedy. He’s also been active in improv for a number of years and was a member of the second- ranked improv team in B.C, in 2005. An outstanding member of the community, Emmanuel also plays soccer, baseball and hockey and has served over 1500 hours as an altar boy.

2008 BIA Bursary Winner – Kyle Krystalowich

I caught up with Kyle Krystalowich, a 19-year-old Surrey local over the phone on a hectic Tuesday afternoon. Between the hustle and bustle of going to class at Simon Fraser University and working part time as a life guard at the North Surrey Rec Centre, he took some time out of his busy schedule to get me caught up on his many projects.

Krystalowich, the winner of the 2008 Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association bursary, has certainly been keeping busy. His university life not only includes matriculating, but also participating in a little known club called Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE).

Krystalowich explains that SIFE, which he joined during his first year of university, has opened the doors to a world of new challenges and rewarding experiences. In fact, he just returned from a competition held in Toronto, where he and fellow SIFE members presented on community development in front of a national audience. When asked what it is about SIFE that appeals to him so much, Krystalowich eagerly explains, “It’s not like regular projects that are repeated year after year. We get to create new projects from our own ideas and run them!”

Currently, Krystalowich is working on LIFE (Learning Important Fundamentals and Ethics) where he gives presentations on sustainability to high school students and encourages them to get involved with local and global issues. “I just like giving back to my school. SIFE lets me help the community and it also helps me with my university career”, says Krystalowich modestly.

It looks as though Krystalowich’s experiences with SIFE are paving his educational path too. Although he is undecided on a major, he says entrepreneurship is definitely an attractive route. His advice for other students looking for bursaries is to “just go out there. Not many people apply, so just by doing that, you have good chance”.

Joyce Quach