Scholarship created in memorial of Clay Chapman


Hannah Gonzalez

In honor of Clay Chapman, the Chapman’s family and friends along with some school administration has created the Clay Thomas Chapman Memorial Scholarship. This is made to honor Clay Chapman and to acknowledge the achievements of one student athlete.

In recognition of Clay Chapman, a fifth grader who passed away last year, the Chapman’s family and friends, along with some school administrators created the Clay Thomas Chapman Memorial Scholarship to recognize Clay, and students’ achievements in the district.

“The scholarship means so much to us,” Clay’s mom, Anne Chapman said. “It is a way for us to honor and remember Clay, and the sweet boy he was by giving back to Lovejoy.”

The idea of the scholarship was introduced by coworkers of Justin Chapman, who created a GoFundMe, and the money donated financed the scholarship.  

“A couple of people that my dad works with decided that they wanted to do something to help,” junior Sydney Chapman said. “They told us we could use the money for anything we wanted, but they had an idea to create a scholarship in Clay’s memorial.”

Clay’s parents worked to create the scholarship with lead counselor Mary Cabrera, and the Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Initiatives and Communication Dr. Laurie Vondersaar. The scholarship was announced at the “Play for Clay” girls basketball game.

“The family did a lot of work behind the scenes,” lead counselor Mary Cabrera said. “They had private donations come in in honor of Clay. When we met, I basically gave them the guidelines for how to set up a scholarship, but they are able to set their own parameters since it is a private scholarship.”

Students can apply for the scholarship through the district website by filling out the applications, which is due March 31. The scholarship was made for a student who has similar values as Clay. 

“Clay was very athletic, and he played soccer and basketball,” Sydney said. “He was very smart, and he also has been a part of a church his whole life, so we wanted to help students that had similar interests.” 

The Chapman family created this scholarship to aid a student who resembles Clay to honor his passion for athletics, church, school and relationships.

“I think this [the scholarship] was created to honor their sweet baby boy,” Cabrera said. “In their loss, they are giving back to others, and that is a great benefit for seniors that are about to start their post-secondary journey and in need of financing their collegiate education.”