Derrick & Lytta Pereira Education Scholarship

Anil and Sheri Pereira believe in education. So they put their money where it counts – into post-secondary scholarships at two universities at home in Canada. The Pereiras have funded a scholarship at their Alma Mater, the University of Lethbridge (Alberta) for 13 years. Two years ago they created a new scholarship at the University of Victoria.

“My family has always been a tremendous supporter of and believer in education,” says Anil Pereira. “My mom is a lifelong teacher, and my father has been a lecturer in Community Education in the real estate field across B.C. He was the president of the Real Estate Board of Vancouver Island and always taught courses. My brother is a teacher in Victoria, and both my mother and brother attended UVic.”

In fact, Anil’s mother, Lytta, a career teacher in Nanaimo, graduated with PhD in Education from UVic in 1991. She retired from teaching seven years later. “It was always a dream, not a career thing. It was something I always wanted to do. I’m from a long line of medical doctors and I wanted to be a doctor myself,” she says with a laugh. “But science was not my thing. I was always more interested in the arts, humanities, and literature.”

Anil’s brother, Vijay, also attended UVic – and also studied education. He’s now a teacher at Claremont School in Cordova Bay. His wife’s parents are a former principal and vice principal in Victoria. “When someone says they want to talk about education, it takes a minute to figure out what side of the family it’s on.”

Anil and Sheri met when attending the University of Lethbridge in Southern Alberta. Anil graduated with a Bachelor of Management (with great distinction) and went on to do an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He is now Senior Vice-President of Marketing for VeriSign, an internet infrastructure service firm in Silicon Valley. Sheri did a law degree at Osgoode Hall, York University and a Master’s degree in Taxation Law at New York University.

After practicing corporate securities and taxation law for six years, she is now on maternity leave, raising the couple’s three children who are four years, two years and seven months old. It keeps them on the go, but not so much that they don’t have time to help others.

“We created a scholarship at the University of Lethbridge in 1987 and we fund it every year as best we can as a way of honouring our parents in some small way,” Anil says. “My wife and I always lived with the idea of giving back, so we tied the scholarship to something our parents consider important.”

Two years ago, Anil and Sheri decided to set up a second scholarship, this time at UVic and again in honour of his family. The scholarship is currently funded by an endowed stock portfolio worth some $25,000 - $30,000, meaning it will be offered in perpetuity.

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