Community Foundation of St. Joseph County

Be a fan on Facebook

Winner of Charles Martin "Touch a Life" Scholarship Announced

Washington High School's Deana Griffin Receives Award

Deana Griffin


The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County has named Deana Griffin, Washington High School, as the recipient of this year’s Charles Martin “Touch a Life” scholarship. This fall, Ms. Griffin will attend Ball State University to study social work.

The four-year renewable Charles Martin “Touch a Life” Scholarship awards $5,000 in tuition assistance to African-American high school seniors who live in St. Joseph County. Also, Charles Martin Scholars receive an opportunity to give back to their community through a paid $2,500 summer internship.

Charles E. Martin, Sr., Executive Director of the YMCA Urban Youth Services Program for more than 20 years, had a special ability to relate to young people. He knew how to challenge them to think about the future. Dream big, Charles would say. Set goals. Commit to achieving them. Because of Charles, literally hundreds of young African-American students from South Bend went onto college—and, once they were there, Charles pushed his “kids” to work hard, earn good grades, and finish school.

For Charles Martin, the greatest demonstration of love was to help a young person succeed.

Charles Martin continues to impact lives today through the “Touch a Life” scholarship, created in his honor by “Charles’s kids,” friends, colleagues, and others in partnership with the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County. Because of Charles Martin, local students such as these are able to attend and graduate from top-notch colleges and universities, shaping their futures for the better.