The Sonya Anne Martin Memorial Scholarship for Public Service, established by George Yacoubian in honor of his maternal aunt, Sonya Martin, is endowed with a $250.00 donation each calendar year. This Public Service Scholarship is earmarked exclusively for an orphaned Armenian child who shows exemplary potential for government, politics, or public service.
Sonya Anne Martin graduated from North Plainfield High School in 1961. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in history from Douglass College in 1965 and a post-graduate degree in social studies education from Rutgers University, teaching American History and Government between 1965 and 1998. Since her retirement, Sonya was actively involved in politics. She served as Hillsborough Township Committee woman between 1999 and 2003 and as Deputy Mayor in 2002. She was a Somerset County Democratic Committee Member for two decades and Chairperson of the “Clinton for President 1992 Campaign Rally” in Somerset County. She served as the Hillsborough Open Space Advisory Committee Township Liaison for 3 Years, as the Liaison to Hillsborough Police Department for 2 Years, and served as the Poll Challenger for Democratic Candidates for 10 years. She received the Eleanor Roosevelt Service Award (Somerset County League of Democratic Women) and was a recipient of the NJ Assembly and NJ Senate Citations for Commitment to Good Government.
Sonya was a lifelong resident of Somerset County and was a member of the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Organization for Women, Somerset County League of Democratic Women, Democratic National Committee, and Emily’s List. Before her death in February 2017, Sonya enjoyed piano, travel, government, politics, reading, and the theater.