Light of Dawnn Awards

MNN Light of Dawnn Awards Feb 25 2015 (52 of 161)The Light of Dawnn Awards honor the legacy of youth leader Dawnn Ashley Jaffier, who demonstrated an unwavering commitment to building stronger communities. Three awards are given each year to three front-line nonprofit professionals who, while not in highly-visible roles, have far-reaching and positive impacts in their communities.

The awards are presented by the Highland Street Foundation, the West End House Boys and Girls Club, The Kraft Family, and the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. The Light of Dawnn Scholarships, given each year alongside the Awards to three high school seniors, are presented by John Hancock in partnership with the Foundation To Be Named Later.

Now in their seventh year, the Light of Dawnn Awards honor Massachusetts nonprofit professionals who serve those in need with compassion and unwavering commitment.

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While we welcome all nominations, we hope to highlight those doing direct-service work in communities, particularly those who may not have highly-visible roles. If you are interested in nominating an Executive Director/CEO, or an organization, for an award, please keep an eye out for MNN’s annual Nonprofit Excellence Awards later in 2021. All nominations are due by Friday, January 8th. 

PLEASE NOTE: This year’s Light of Dawnn Awards will be held as a virtual program. Please stay tuned for more details regarding registration and virtual attendance.

Click here to learn more about last year’s awardees.

About Dawnn and the Light of Dawnn Awards

On August 23, 2014, Boston lost Dawnn Jaffier to an act of senseless gun violence. Dawnn had a promising career in Boston’s nonprofit community. Though only 26 years old, Dawnn had begun a promising career in Boston’s nonprofit community, holding direct service positions at the 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 to 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.

The Light of Dawnn Awards aim to raise the public profiles of those doing important direct-service work, particularly those who do not have prominent or externally-facing roles. Every year, three winners are recognized at a public event and receive a monetary award for their outstanding efforts. The Light of Dawnn Scholarships are presented to three high school seniors. The scholarships are sponsored by John Hancock Financial, where Dawnn’s mother is a longtime employee, in partnership with the Foundation to Be Named Later.

Click here to read about past award winners.

Below is a video that highlights Dawnn’s impact on her family, friends, colleagues and Boston community. Thank you to Comcast for producing the video.

LightOfDawnn-desktop from Comcast VPS on Vimeo.

If you have questions about the awards, please contact