Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 29° Partly Cloudy
News >  Washington

Nursing student wins first scholarship in honor of Cascade Mall shooting victim

UPDATED: Fri., June 1, 2018

A sign for the Cascade Mall is shown Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, in Burlington, Wash. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
A sign for the Cascade Mall is shown Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, in Burlington, Wash. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
By Kera Wanielista Skagit Valley Herald

MOUNT VERNON – Although they never met, the lives of Shayla Martin, who died in the Cascade Mall shooting, and Skagit Valley College student Martha Cuevas will be forever intertwined.

On Wednesday night, Cuevas became the first winner of the college’s Shayla K. Martin Memorial Scholarship, which was established in September by Martin’s daughter, Tanya Young.

“I’m so happy it’s going to someone who it would make a difference for,” Young said.

Martin, 52, was one of five victims in the September 2016 Cascade Mall shooting. The other victims were Belinda Galde, 64, of Arlington; Beatrice Dotson, 95, of Kingsport, Tennessee; Chuck Eagan, 61, of Lake Stevens; and Sarai Lara, 16, of Mount Vernon.

The $500 scholarship was not the only one Cuevas, a sophomore nursing student with dreams to attend the University of Washington, was awarded Wednesday. She was also awarded a $3,000 scholarship for students who are the first in their families to seek higher education.

“My parents came here to this country for us to have a better education,” Cuevas said. “So for people to be helping me get that higher education is just wonderful.”

Cuevas did not apply specifically for either scholarship, but was instead chosen for them by a committee assembled by the Skagit Valley College Foundation.

“I feel really honored,” Cuevas, a Burlington-Edison High School graduate, said of winning the Shayla K. Martin Memorial Scholarship. “I didn’t think I would get such an honorable scholarship like that, especially from my town where it happened.”

The scholarship is endowed and will likely grow in size each year, said Anne Clark, Skagit Valley College vice president of college advancement.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.