Dawn Martin chair of Terrace’s scholarship foundation – Northwest Education 88 Foundation– is stepping down after 22 years.
An educator and former principal of School Districts 82 and 88, Martin served as the chair of the scholarship foundation since Nov. 1999.
Having lived in Terrace for more than five decades, Martin has also served as the chair of the UNBC Board of Governors and as the vice president of the Canadian Society for Advancement of Excellence in education. But over the years, her role at the scholarship foundation was one that was very fulfilling, she says.
“It was really a pleasure to be able to provide scholarships to students to further their education,” said Martin.
In 2020 the foundation awarded $96,000 worth of scholarships.
The foundation started in 1977 with a $4,000 fund and since then it has grown to $1 million as recorded in its 2020 financial report.
And it’s all thanks to the small but generous community in Terrace, says Martin.
“One of the things that I find really rewarding about the foundation is the support from our community, we’re a very small community, and to have the funds that we have over a million dollars now from our small community is really pretty impressive.”
There have been some extremely generous donations that have come from individuals and organizations and clubs, businesses, and some in memory of people who have passed away.
Some of the donations – like the $10,000 endowed scholarship started by the family of Cameron Kerr who was struck and killed in a hit and run on Hwy16 west of Terrace – Martin finds are very touching in their intent to support the education of young people.
Martin and her husband, Gerry, also started and supported an anonymous scholarship stream for the past 20 years for students that have overcome some adversity. On certain occasions, people who received scholarships from the foundation as students have also come back and donated or set up a scholarship fund.
As Martin comes to the end of her journey with the foundation and as she and Gerry prepare to move to Kelowna, she is disappointed that she will be missing out some aspects of her foundation involvement.
In pre-COVID times, for example, Martin enjoyed going to the Caledonia scholarship presentation evening.
“It’s a really rewarding night… you see these young people that are energetic and they are looking forward to moving ahead in their life and it’s a really wonderful occasion.”
Outgoing Caledonia Secondary School vice-principal Robin McLeod will takeover as the interim chair of the Northwest Education 88 Foundation.