The community helped fulfill a young woman's dream

In fourth grade, my daughter, Dawson, said she wanted to be a doctor and I thought, “Oh, isn’t that cute.”

She said it again when she was in eighth grade, and I thought, “Oh, that’s weird, she still thinks she wants to be a doctor.”

Then she told me again when she was in 10th grade, and it drove me to my knees. I went to bible study that week, and with a broken spirit and tears rolling down my cheeks, I told the people at bible study that my daughter wants to be a doctor and there is no way I can afford schooling for her to be a doctor.

And among the people there were two old men sitting way across the room kitty corner from me, Mike Frazier and Ted Haux. Ted said, ‘If God has put that in here heart to be a doctor, He will provide.” Mike said, “You just need to trust God.” I left there thinking that they really didn’t hear me, I do not have the money to put my daughter through that much schooling.

With the great help of Vivian Grossardt, we spent many hours filling in financial aid paperwork over the period of four years and she got her bachelor’s degree at Northern Arizona University. Her major was biological science and her minor chemistry. During the last of this time, she had to work in an area where she had to deal with human blood. She reconsidered about being a doctor. She took a year off and worked for AmeriCorps as a trail crew member. I thought, “Oh, we are done, at least she got her bachelor’s degree.”

During that year, she put some thought into what she wanted to pursue, and that was getting her doctorate degree in environmental science. And I thought, “OK Lord, that is a lot of money we don’t have, what are we going to do?”

She called me and said I want to put in for a Native educational grant. I called Carol Snoddy and her sister Tis Peterman and they got the paperwork submitted for her grant.

When Dawson was interviewed by the panel for the grant, they noticed that she did not say a whole lot about her Native culture. She told them, “My mom was raised in a white foster home, so she does not know much about her Native culture.” They said, “Oh, a ‘displaced Native,’ here is a generous check to assist you in getting your doctorate degree.”

When she told me that, I was amazed and thought, “Wow God, way to go. Those two old men were right after all, you do provide even though my faith was weak.”

Thank you, Wrangell. Dawson had a dream and we helped her get there. I want to publicly thank Vivian Grossardt, Tis Peterman and acknowledge the help of her sister, who has since passed, Carol Snoddy. Ladies, without your help, my daughter’s dream would have been my nightmare. Thank you.

I would also like to thank and commend the Wrangell schools and the school board members who were in office during Dawson’s schooling. The teachers, the coaches were inspirational to my daughter, and you spoke life into her. Thank you.

Please celebrate with me, my daughter accomplishing her childhood dream. She has graduated from the University of Arizona with a doctorate degree in environmental science and natural resource management. She is now Dr. Dawson Fairbanks.

Thank you, Wrangell. God’s continued blessings on you and yours.

Jan Martin


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