Darcy and Karina Biagioni know from experience that an SFU education makes anything possible—and are determined to give students who may not otherwise be able to afford that education a chance to reach their full potential.
In 2017, the Lower Mainland-based business and philanthropic leaders established the Darcy and Karina Biagioni Family Scholarship with a generous $1 million endowed gift to SFU. The $50,000 entrance scholarship was created as a beacon to help keep capable students focused on their high school studies and thinking about their post- secondary goals. The renewable scholarship covers the costs of SFU tuition, books and other expenses for the duration of their first undergraduate degree.
Modelled after SFU’s Undergraduate Scholars Entrance Scholarship program, the Biagioni scholarship evaluates incoming high school students on academic excellence, extracurricular activities and community service and also considers personal circumstances that impact the content of an individual’s resume.
“There aren’t a lot of opportunities for kids who have all the intelligence and none of the funding,” Darcy says. “We want to help kids who have a story, who may have gotten sidetracked, who may have not been able to be in the school band or on the student council because they were looking after their younger siblings while their mother was working two shifts.
“This is going to make a huge difference to their lives,” he continues. “But it’s also going to make a great difference to society by having people with these kinds of experiences succeed. None of these kids has lived without some sort of adversity that will shape how they move forward.”
Both SFU graduates, Darcy and Karina have two sons, Nick and Sam, who are also SFU alumni. They cite the benefits of their university experience as well as SFU’s active role in building a more innovative and inclusive future for fueling their desire to give back.
“From the time I made the decision to first attend SFU,” Karina explains, “it has always been a forward-thinking university. SFU is always on the leading edge of new things, looking to the future, not going backwards. This was really important to me as a student and in the students that we’re helping. These are people that are hopefully going to do wonderful things in the world.”
Scholarship recipients must graduate from a B.C. high school and can pursue studies in any area.
"Releasing this financial burden from my family has been a huge motivator for me. One day, I hope to help students achieve their goals just as the Biagionis have helped me do so with this scholarship. Stay tuned as I have big plans for the future!"
- Johnson, 4th from the left in group photo