Fund Highlight: Kendra Martin Scholarship Fund

KendraMartinGrowing up I always knew that I wanted to attend college. I was raised in Branford, attended our public schools, and after graduating from Branford High, went off to pursue my college dream. I returned home to Branford after graduation and entered the working world. Shortly after, my father abruptly passed away due to cancer.

That truly put my life into perspective. Suddenly, past and future life events were measured by “with Dad” and “without Dad.” I immediately thought of what I wouldn’t be able to share with both of my loving parents, such as getting married and having children. But it took me a little longer to see all the joys that I was lucky to share with both parents. I hadn’t before realized how very fortunate I was to have had both of my parents’ unconditional love, tremendous support, and amazing encouragement in the years leading up to and during my college education.

A special young lady in the Branford Community Youth Mentoring Program helped me see that. I am her mentor and she is a friend that always makes me smile. She, too, lost a parent due to illness, but at a much younger age. Becoming more involved in community work made me increasingly aware of the challenges others face as well as the many opportunities to help. I quickly turned to the Branford Community Foundation to establish a scholarship fund for a graduating Branford High School senior in a one-parent or no-parent home.

I am thrilled to be awarding my third annual scholarship this year, and I hope to build the fund to continue to grow the scholarship for many years to come.