City Councilwoman Jan Martin has followed women who have been role models for her in politics and in the community, and she takes pride in mentoring young people who now follow her.
For her mentoring efforts, community work and service to others, Martin was honored as the 2014 Athena Award winner during a luncheon Wednesday at The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs.
Martin, 63, has one year left on her second four-year term. She was first elected to an at-large seat on the Springs City Council in 2007, and re-elected four years later.
Since she was elected, she's mentored the Colorado Springs Rising Professionals as well as other young professionals in the community. Among honors she's received are the Modeling the Way Award from Urban Peak in 2013, the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Award in 2010 and the Leadership Pikes Peak Modeling the Way Award in 2010.
"One of my priorities in my years in office has been to mentor young professionals," Martin said. "It will always stand out as one of the most important things I accomplished while I was in office. So many young people just need someone to take their hand and help guide them."
Martin credited women who formerly held office in the area and helped blaze the trail for her, including Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace, former Springs mayor; Mary Ellen McNally, who served on Colorado Springs City Council; and Marcy Morrison, a former state representative and past mayor of Manitou Springs.
"They're just so many women who actually took my hand and helped guide me as I wanted to work in local politics," Martin said.
"On the other side," she added, "for me I felt it was important to reach back and grab the hands of the next generation of future leaders for our city. I've been blessed to have both ends of the spectrum that I've worked with and have learned so much from both of them."
The Athena Award is given each year to a woman who's been an asset in helping other women reach their leadership potential, while also accomplishing success in business and contributing to the community. Two dozen area women were nominated for this year's award.
Wednesday's award presentation was hosted by the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado and the Colorado Springs Small Business Development Center.
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