Pictured here with his father and fellow firefighter, Jimmy Snavely, Dakota died just seven days shy of his 18th birthday while responding to a rescue in Stanly County.


Albemarle, NC – The Stanly Community College (SCC) Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the Dakota Snavely Memorial Scholarship, to honor the memory of the firefighter whose life was cut short in 2018 while responding to a water rescue in Stanly County.

Dakota loved to hunt and fish, but his two true loves were baseball and fire service. He was an avid player from the age of four and played on several teams as a pitcher and catcher. When not on the field, he was eager to learn everything about fire service and later demonstrated his commitment to the profession by becoming a volunteer firefighter at the age of 15. It was Dakota’s dream to follow in his father’s footsteps.

While he got to live out that dream for only a short time, he spent many hours training, helping his community and bringing awareness to Special Olympics during his career.

Dakota was recognized as the 294th firefighter to die in the line of duty at the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial and was also recognized at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in 2021.

Four annual scholarships in the amount of $250 are designated for students enrolled in Fire and Rescue, EMT, Paramedic or Emergency Medical Services fields of study and will be available in the next cycle of classes that start in April. Students should ask their instructors about how to apply for these scholarships.

Since 1971, Stanly Community College has provided educational and career training opportunities to thousands of people across the region. Today, SCC serves nearly 10,000 students annually and has become a beacon of hope and change for countless individuals. To ensure that the College can continue this tradition of serving as an educational resource, the Foundation strives to meet and address the current and anticipated needs of the College and our students.

To learn more about the SCC Foundation, please contact Jeania Martin at (704) 991-0370 or jmartin8295@stanly.edu.