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Surrey student given award for academic success despite health challenges

Nia Misiak says grant will help her pursue aspirations ‘and help others through similar experiences’
Nia Misiak. (submitted photo)

Nia Misiak of Surrey has been given Coast Capital Savings’ annual Beth Hutchinson Award as part its Standing Tall education program.

The awards give scholarships to students who have achieved academic success despite significant health challenges.

Award presenters say Misiak is “an exceptional student” who illustrates all that it means to be a recipient of the $5,000 Beth Hutchinson Award, named to honour past award recipient Beth Hutchinson, who lost her battle with cancer not long after her 2017 win.

Misiak, 17, is currently studying science at the University of British Columbia. A South Surrey resident, she went to Earl Marriott Secondary.

For her, it was severe scoliosis that challenged her ability to maintain her education.

“Following an experimental surgery, of which she was one of the first Canadians to receive, Misiak leaned into positivity and hard work, to successfully complete her secondary education and excel in her studies despite surgery and recovery,” according to a news release.

Through her time at Children’s Hospital, she realized she had a passion for helping others who find themselves in difficult situations.

“Despite going through a hard time, the silver lining was how much I learned during my hospital stay and many medical appointments,” Misiak says. “The professionals I met changed my life, and this grant will help me pursue my aspirations and help others through similar experiences.”

This fall, Coast Capital Savings is celebrating 61 youth across B.C. who have been awarded the credit union’s annual Standing Tall Education Awards.

“This $2,500 grant helps with costs associated to post-secondary education, setting it apart from the vast majority of education grants and scholarships that are based solely on academic performance,” says a news release. “The program, established in 2004, has supported almost 1,000 students fund their post-secondary studies with an investment of more than $2.5 million.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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