Paying it Forward: Nicholas Kashuba Memorial Award Continues Legacy of Giving

Nicholas Kashuba loved his career and being able to help others. Now, a memorial award in his name will continue that legacy of giving


Before his passing, Nicholas Kashuba was always eager to lend a hand to whoever was in need.

“He wanted to help everybody,” Nick’s mother Jackeline Hayter remembers. “He was just that type of person, whether it was at work or school he was always trying to help.”

Now, Nick’s energy and helpful spirit will be a continuing legacy within the Saskatchewan Polytechnic community thanks to the creation of the Nicholas Kashuba Memorial Award, which is intended to recognize students enrolled in Architectural Technologies or Civil Engineering Technologies and are able to demonstrate community spirit through volunteerism.

Hayter notes that Nick received a number of financial awards and scholarships through Sask Polytech before graduating with honours from the Architectural Technologies program in 2013. The creation of his memorial award is a full circle moment for Hayter who remembers how excited he was to be starting his career path at Sask Polytech and how excited she was to be there for him during this new adventure.

Now, she can share in the excitement of more students eagerly preparing for their future career.

The award was a creation between Hayter and Alicia Pedwerbeski, a colleague and friend of Nick from Graham Construction where he was employed for slightly more than a year before his tragic death in June 2018 when he was only 25 years old.

“Everybody here loved him, he was so easy to get along with,” Pedwerbeski remembers. “He was always willing to step up wherever he needed to step up.”

Hayter said she is so honoured at the support she received from Nick’s colleagues after his passing, even joking that Nick would be mortified that his mother was now so close with so many of his friends and co-workers.

“(Prior to his passing) I had never met any of the people Nick had worked with. If I went to meet him, he would always come out – because who wants their mom showing up at work right?” Hayter remembers with a hearty laugh. “But it is pretty amazing because now Graham Construction has become family to me and I am just so blessed by them in so many ways.”

Pedwerbeski is one of those colleagues who connected with Hayter after Nick’s death and continues to share a close bond. Pedwerbeski said that Nick’s sense of humour, pragmatism, willingness to help and passion for his job left a lasting memory with her and everyone he worked with, so to keep that memory front of mind, she organized the first Turvey Road Hockey Classic.

“We started the shinny tournament the August after he passed as a way for us to come together and celebrate Nick and just have some fun,” Pedwerbeski said. “We decided to also throw a barbeque and use the money to donate to a cause that we know would be close to Nick’s heart.”

Six years and a global pandemic later, what started as a small memorial game has developed into a tournament that continues to grow. It’s most recent iteration in August 2023 involved 96 players split across 16 teams and raised more than $8,000 to benefit Nick’s newly minted Memorial Award.

“We were a little worried about losing Nick in the event, so I thought the best way to take the money that we had previously donated to charities and do something that was in line with what he was pursuing for his life and keep him the meaning of why we do it.”

The pair are excited that the memorial award will be able to help and celebrate students who share Nick’s character and a similar dream for the future.

“I never thought it would come to this,” Hayter finished. “I’m really honoured.”

September 2023


Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves students through applied learning opportunities on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 Territories and the homeland of the Métis.