Making a Difference: Investing in Education
As a young high school math teacher in Owensboro, Martha Clark witnessed how a few students struggled with their classwork and how a little extra attention often went a long way toward helping them regain their footing.
Later, after Clark founded a successful accounting firm, her teaching experiences stayed with her, guiding her as she got involved in local charities and leading her to support those that focused on educational causes.
“I was blessed to have had a good education, and it opened a lot of doors for me,” Clark said. “I’d like for others to enjoy similar opportunities because it’s hard to measure what a huge difference a little education can make in people’s lives.”
Her love of all things education also explains her support of KET, which she said plays a pivotal statewide role, helping young learners get off to a strong start.
“KET is so important, particularly at an early age, because it helps young minds grow,” Clark said. “And no matter where you live, whether in a rural area or inner city, there will be children in need. So I consider my support of KET to be a lifelong investment into the education of our Commonwealth.”
Clark points to KET’s efforts during the pandemic, furnishing educational tools such as News Quiz and other online resources found on PBS LearningMedia to teachers to help with distance learning lesson plans. And KET’s move to augment its daytime lineup with children’s educational programs offered a measure of relief for parents struggling to juggle their work and home responsibilities, she said.
“During the COVID lockdown, KET really made a special contribution to our state,” Clark said. “With so much going on at the time, it would be easy for a lot of kids to fall through the cracks. So just by offering parents a positive and educational outlet for children, I’m sure it made a huge difference in so many households.”
Clark, who retired from her accounting firm Martha F. Clark & Associates in 2005, continues to stay busy in her hometown of Owensboro, thanks to her devotion to so many philanthropic organizations.
She only recently stepped aside from Impact 100 Owensboro, a group she co-founded 15 years ago that encourages women in her area to pool their donations in support of local causes. She also serves as the administrator for the John B. & Brownie Young Memorial Scholarship.
“I get involved because I’d like to make the world a better place,” Clark said. “And so much of that is just caring about the less fortunate and helping them find opportunities to get them started. And I think education is key to doing that.”
She adds that she’s grateful for KET’s many educational tools that likewise help people make a fresh start — resources such as FastForward, which helps people prepare for the GED® test, and educational programs such as Workplace Essential Skills, which offers career skills training for those entering a new work field.
“I don’t think KET gets enough credit for its educational outreach and resources,” Clark said. “But KET does so much to provide educational opportunities for the young people of Kentucky. And we all know that a little bit of education can go a long way.”