Scholarship program renamed for slain real-estate agent

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Realtor Vivian Martin

Who: Vivian Martin

Where to donate: Huntington National Bank, 3960 South Ave., Youngstown.

Why: The Vivian D. Martin Realtist Memorial Scholarship Foundation needs to raise $5,000 in order to participate in the Youngstown State University Scholarship Foundation, which will match the funds raised. The money will be awarded to black graduating high school seniors in the Youngstown and Warren city school districts.

By Kristen Russo


Though real-estate agent Vivian Martin was killed last year, the Youngstown-Warren Realtist Association is ensuring her legacy survives.

The association has renamed its scholarship program the Vivian D. Martin Realtist Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

The $1,000 scholarship is available to black high-school seniors in the Youngstown and Warren city school districts.

Martin, 67, owner of Youngstown-based Essence Realty, was killed Sept. 20, 2010, in an East Side house listed for sale with her real-estate company.

The two men charged with her murder, Robert S. Brooks, 26, of Youngstown, and Grant P. Cooper, 22, of Brookfield, have confessed and are awaiting trial.

Martin “was an inspiration to everyone around her to complete their education and to stretch their goals,” said Shirley Poindexter, financial secretary for the Youngstown- Warren Realtist Association.

Martin was a single mother who, after dropping out of school, continued her education and earned her associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, according to a press release.

Martin’s story “is a testament to young, inner-city youth that it can be done,” said Linda Booker, corresponding secretary for the Youngstown-Warren Realtist Association.

Booker said there will be one scholarship recipient this year, but the association hopes to award more scholarships in the future.

To do that, the group is attempting to partner with the Youngstown State University Foundation.

The association needs to raise $5,000 to participate, but once the money is raised, the foundation will match the funds.

This year’s scholarship will be awarded during a luncheon from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on April 23 at the Mahoning Country Club.

Students interested in the scholarship can pick up applications in their schools’ guidances offices. The deadline for applications is Monday.

The Youngstown-Warren Realtist Association is the local affiliate of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, which represents black real-estate agents in the United States.

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