On February 25, Governor Charlie Baker, business and nonprofit leaders, along with the Jaffier Family and community members gathered at the West End House for the Light of Dawnn Awards. Now in its sixth year, the Light of Dawnn Awards were created to honor the life of Dawnn Ashley Jaffier, a victim of gun violence, who was tragically killed on her way to a neighborhood celebration. Though only 26 years old, Dawnn had begun a promising career in Boston’s non-profit community, holding direct service positions at West End House, Playworks, City Year and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. She understood firsthand the important role nonprofit organizations play within a community and created a life devoted to giving back for all she had been given. To honor Dawnn, and all victims of senseless acts of violence, the Highland Street Foundation, community leaders, and Dawnn’s colleagues, peers, and family, created the Light of Dawnn Awards. These awards celebrate individuals working in the nonprofit sector who demonstrate the spirit that is Dawnn’s legacy.

Dawnn’s legacy of service, leadership, and strength lives on through the incredible work of the award winners Shantell Jeter, Physical Education Teacher at Boston Green Academy; Aspen Eberhardt, Operations Direction at Greater Boston PLFAG; and Isabel Villela, Case Manager at La Alianza Hispana. The event also awarded scholarships to three high school students, Aleena Mangham and Lesley Carranza of the West End House Boys and Girls Club and Erika Yamilet Garcia of Beacon Academy. Read more about the winners and the awards here.

Thank you to all of the event sponsors Highland Street Foundation, Massachusetts Non-Profit Network, John Hancock, and The Foundation To Be Named Later!

And thank you to Leise Jones Photography for capturing this beautiful event!