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Dr. Edward V. Chavez Athletic Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
Picture of the donor
1st winner$2,136
2nd winner$1,174
3rd winner$1,174
4th winner$1,121
Application Deadline
Oct 30, 2024
Winners Announced
Nov 30, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school student
Has lost one or both parents

Dr. Edward V. Chavez, a cherished father and and extraordinary athlete, left us on August 10, 2021, succumbing to COVID-19 complications. His passion for sports was not only evident in his personal achievements in football, baseball, wrestling, and marathons but also lives on through his sons, who excel in hockey, baseball, and basketball.

In memory of Dr. Chavez, this scholarship seeks to support high school students who have faced the loss of a parent and share Edward's enthusiasm for sports.

Eligible students are those who have experienced the loss of one or both parents and possess a fervent passion for sports.

Applicants are encouraged to share how the loss of a parent has shaped them, the positive influence of sports in their lives, and their aspirations to make a difference in the world.

Reflecting on the transformative power of sports and the strength it provides during challenging times can be incredibly moving. It's inspiring to see how individuals use their experiences to fuel their passion and create a positive impact, much like the story of Alex Sheen who walked over 240 miles to honor a promise, touching the lives of millions.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published March 20, 2024
Essay Topic

How has losing a parent affected you? What challenges have you faced? How has the sport of your choice enhanced your life? How will you pay it forward and create triumph out of tragedy?

500–550 words

Winning Application

Terry Brock
Sam Houston High SchoolCedar Hill, TX
My late father was killed in a shooting when I was only five years old. That day was the last day that I was just a kid. Unlike other kids who cried and had the comfort of their mother behind them, I had to be strong and comfort my mother. From that day forward I had to be the man of the house. My father's death still to this day brings grief to my heart, but honestly, his death changed me for the better. It lit an eternal flame in my soul to make him proud of the man that I am becoming and showed me that tomorrow is not promised, so every second that I am on this earth I will chase my dream and leave no room for regret of not being great or successful in my sport and not only my sport but any passion of mine I choose to pursue. I have faced many challenges, but my biggest one was change. I read this quote that stuck with me “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced," wrote James Baldwin. Growing up in an inner city neighborhood in a fatherless single-parent household, everybody thought I would either be dead, in jail, or running the streets selling drugs. I never wanted that for myself. I have seen cousins, uncles, and even my father fall victim to that way of life. Since the day my father died when I was five, I told myself I would never put myself or my future family in that situation. I had to break the generational curse and not let my environment dictate the type of life I wanted to live. I had to change my mindset to change my outcome. Since I was young when my father passed, there aren’t a lot of memories I have of him. One thing my father left me with is a genuine love for basketball. This sport is how I honor my father and in most cases, this is my only connection to him. Also being so busy with the everyday walk of a student-athlete, I use it as a coping mechanism for stress. When I’m on the court I feel like all my worries go away and my mind is turned off like my body is on autopilot. I love both the physical and mental aspects of the game and the competitive nature of it all. It’s improving my skills to be better than others but to also compete against myself and continuously exceed my limits. Through this sport, I have made many friends and have networked with amazing individuals which has produced opportunities for myself. For example, I played against who is now my manager over my gospel rap career. I’ve learned so many life skills such as self-discipline, leadership skills, communication skills, and how to be persistent. This game has been so influential in my life and I’ve grown to love it how it loved me.
Deirdre Flaherty
University of DaytonDayton, OH
My dad in many ways reflects Edward and his legacy. He was an avid athlete who grew up playing soccer, baseball, and even wrestling through high school. He ended up playing both soccer and baseball at Duke University, and continued to inspire myself and my friends to pursue our athletic abilities and dreams through coaching local rec. programs since I was only two years old. He especially always pushed me to be my best through my softball career, driving hundreds of thousands of miles to make sure I could get the right college exposure I needed. After just the two of us spent hundreds of hours together in a car, it is safe to say that we were very close to one another. This only amplified my shock when he very unexpectedly passed away in January of 2022 due to Covid. I soon learned how dependent I was on him, not just for softball coaching or homework help, but for simple communication skills. Being more introverted, I found it hard to go out of my way to talk to people. My dad, being very outgoing, would often do most of the talking. I had to quickly learn to become more independent with my social skills following his passing, be it through scheduling my own appointments over the phone, or working on talking to one new person everywhere I go. If anything, I have only become more extroverted due to this, as I never really wanted to be considered shy, yet I never had a true need to be outspoken for myself. Secondly, my father taught me to fall in love with softball, of which I owe my second life lesson. Since it is considered to be a game of failures, one needs to have a short memory to succeed. Beating myself up from striking out on a curve ball is not going to help me field the next ground ball. Humans are in no way perfect, and we are prone to errors. While it is important to learn from them, constantly dwelling on the past will only take time away from working to be your best in the present. I was lucky enough that my dad was able to attend my college visit to the University of Dayton not even a month before he passed. On the drive home, all he could think about was how great of an opportunity it would be for me. I, too, fell in love with the institution and have since earned an offer to continue my athletic and career there at the Division 1 level—a dream that I have had since I was 10 years old. I would not only be able to honor one of my dad’s final wishes to play softball in college, but also be able to study at a great university in hopes of soon helping other people as a doctor. Scholarships like these specifically would help as I will not be receiving any athletic money, so it would provide relief on the financial side so I can better pursue my dreams of playing in college.
Austin Jessop
Gunnison Valley HighFayette, UT
I lost my Mother when I was 9 years old to stage 4 cancer. She always loved sports and was very supportive of my love for them. When I lost my mom I bottled up all of my anger and would release it through yelling. It was hard for me to face what had really happened, and I went through a denial phase. I played baseball when I was younger and her death made me stop playing. It was hard for me to play without my mom there. She always went out of her way to support me and attend every game. I have faced many challenges in my life. Because I was angry and would yell I would get into trouble a lot. Losing my mom left a hole in me that I wasn’t able to fill for years, and still isn’t full. Luckily for me, I have been blessed with a wonderful step mom and siblings. They have always been there for me and my siblings are some of my best friends. When I became a high schooler I chose to join the football team. My mom always made it clear she would support every sport I played, but football was never her top choice. I love football and know that she would have been there for every game if she could have. Playing football has enhanced my life by helping me learn self control, become part of something bigger, and make friends. I truly believe that football is a great way to learn discipline and teamwork. It has really given me something that I always look forward to every day. Even though football is a very physically demanding sport, I have learned so much from playing it. I have gotten stronger, smarter, and faster because of all of the working out and running we do. It has helped me become a better person physically, emotionally, and mentally. Because of football I have learned how to work with others, and I love to help others improve at whatever they love. Whether it is dancing, soccer, or art, I love to help others pursue their goals. I try to pay what I have learned forward and I have learned how to move on through tragedy. I have learned to not use my mother’s death as an excuse, but rather as motivation. I always tell myself that I know my mom would be proud, and I know she would be. She was a very kind person and I try to be like her. I think that using tragedy as motivation is one of the very best methods of motivation there is. You hear all the time about athletes having the game of their lives when a loved one passes. The important thing is that you don’t let it hinder you, but that you use it to motivate yourself. You can create triumph out of tragedy if you let yourself. I create it by remembering my mother and by performing well for her. I know that my mom is watching me still, and I know I’ve made her proud.
Christina Wilson
District of Columbia International SchoolWashington, DC
When I lost my father in 2014 at the age of six, it was an incredibly traumatic event that caused a series of twists and turns throughout my life. I was unable to express myself or get any pent up emotions out. Losing my dad affected me because I was suddenly thrust into this world of grief, with very little help. Six year olds aren't supposed to have their dads die. Because of the circumstances of my loss, I had very little help on my grief journey for a while. Before he died, I used to watch the show 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' with my parents. I told them I wanted to ride horses and to my surprise, they signed me up for a riding camp in the DC area. The camp was set to start in June, yet a cold February day turned an excited, happy, sweet little girl into a silent, reserved, and solitary child. When June rolled around, I was still hesitant to talk about my loss, and wanted to simply stay in my room, read, and sleep. I didn't want to experience anything new, or do anything out of my comfort zone. My mom encouraged me to try the camp for a day and see how it felt. I decided to go, just to make my mom happy. I got to the stables, and was astounded by how much I felt I fit in in the equestrian community. I cried in the car on the way home because I didn't want to leave so badly. I realized the connection I felt with the animals as I rode. Horseback riding is not about control of the horse. It's about partnership to achieve the goal of the rider. It's about the connection between the horse and rider. Whether you ride western or english, do dressage, hunter/jumping, cross country, rodeos, racing, or any other form of riding, it's about the connection. And while riding, I felt a connection I had never experienced before in my life. It sort of "filled a gap" in my heart that was created when my dad passed away. Through the challenges of grief- anger, frustration, sadness, depression, guilt, confusion, lethargy, reflection, and so much more- I always find myself back at the barn and riding. During the pandemic, I had an incredibly difficult time with my mental health- as most teens did- but it was augmented by the loss I had already experienced with my dad, and it caused a lot of feelings that were similar to my grief from when I was younger. My mom would take me to the barn nearly every day so I could ride, and take my mind off of the challenges I was facing, as well as allowing me to enjoy something I was passionate about. In the future, I would love to become an equestrian athlete as well as an advocate for mental health. I want to open a barn or organization that aids people with mental health issues or similar issues where children, teens, adults, and seniors alike can come and ride. I found riding to be an incredible coping mechanism when my dad died, and I want to share that with others.
Malachi Humble
Logan County High SchoolRussellville, KY
Loosing a parent has affected me in more ways than I have been able to face. After the divorce of my parents, a few years later my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. It took the cancer a month and a half before my dad couldn’t fight anymore and soon passed in October of 2018. After his passing I have struggled with serious depression, my anxiety and fear of loosing another person close to me has never left and will never leave. Constant flashbacks of seeing my dad take his last breath right next to me caused trauma I didn’t even know was possible, and then I began to run. Running solved everything. The only time I could get my pain and anger out was by running. Being a 6’5, 16 year old, brings many strengths in long stride and strength but sadly my body just couldn’t withstand it. I developed severe pain in my back and knees and lost the ability to be able to run like I did. Even though I can’t run, I am now a assistant track manager and teach kids the correct and efficient way to run. With attending a small school, we are often overlooked and some kids that I have helped manage are what led us to state for our multi athletic players who also play football. I will forever keep the sport of running alive and cherish the pain it helped me with. The passing of a parent is not easy and the hole in your heart will always be remembered.
Hannah Skene
Greenfield-Central High SchoolGreenfield, IN
Losing my dad was very hard for me. He was my best friend, my caregiver, and much more. Without him, I did not initially know that everything was going to be alright, but it has taught me to open up to people and look for support. Everyone needs someone to lean on in their darkest times, and it has taught me to support everyone. It has taught me that is is okay to not be okay. I went through several phases of depression, and I developed anxiety because I felt as if nothing was going right. There was a point where I would have no motivation to do anything, including not playing the sport that I love most. During the first year after my dad passed away, there were many “firsts” in my life without him. These “firsts” included my first school year without him, my first soccer season without him, and even my first birthday without him. Of course, there are many more “firsts,” but I learned that every year, it will get easier. I have learned to celebrate him and his life instead of mourning his death. I have learned that if I play soccer, I can play for my dad. I believe that my dad is watching me play from Heaven, so I want to make him proud. I want to pursue the dreams that I discussed with him and I want to make him proud. I believe that my dad would not be proud if I quit everything that I worked so hard for. I have started to seek out extra practices and extra help to achieve my goals. My sport, soccer, has helped me gain motivation again. I now look forward to every time I get to touch a soccer ball, even if it is just for a few minutes a day. Playing soccer is how I let go of my stress, and I do not think about anything when I play. All I think about is doing my best while making myself better. Before every game and practice, I think of my dad. I think about the goals that we set to achieve my dreams. I think about how my dad would be proud of me if I just do the best that I can. For every practice and every game, I give 110 percent, even if I am tired or I do not feel good. I try my hardest and I make myself better with every practice. I critique myself on what I need to work on and I work hard to improve those areas. I do this all for my dad, and I will continue to do so. This gives me a sense of freedom from the fact that he is no longer with me, and I feel as if he is still actually there with me, cheering for me at every game. I want to triumph the fact that my dad is gone because he is not gone. He is still with me, but in a spiritual way. I will play for my dad in honor of him, and I will make him proud.
Brianna Fariello
Lawton Chiles High SchoolTallahassee, FL
I lost my dad when I was only 3 1/2. My mom was pregnant with my youngest sister and I had to grow up at a young age because it was just my mom and my two sisters. This has made me the individual I am today and has taught me compassion for others as well. I have always tried to be a good role model for my younger sisters in all aspects of life; including helping guide them through school and their own goals and aspirations. I never wanted to be judged for not having only one parent my entire life, but sometimes kids can be cruel and not understand the hurt they cause others with comments like well you don't have a dad. My sisters dealt with that first hand and I always played the big sister role to show them every family is unique in their own way! Through the years we have developed many friendships with other families that sadly were in the same situation as we are. Through that these friends have become family. Most people have big gatherings of family on holidays, but for us it was not the same anymore without my dad. Our friends became our family, and that not only helped our family but theirs as well. I will always be so thankful for "my family" and have a special bond with them and the memories that we have created together through the years. My mom has always done everything to raise us right and give us a good upbringing and got me involved in competitive cheerleading. I am currently starting my 10th year and it has grounded me to be a team player and my passion for the sport has driven me. Last season I got the highest honor of getting first place at the D2 Summit. In order to even attend the D2 Summit you have to be invited and are competing against the best of the best in the nation. It was something that I have strived for in all my years of cheering and something that most kids never get the opportunity to experience. I realize this and that makes it even that more of a triumph! I have always been able to be devoted to my sport and focus on my school work and family life. I feel that cheerleading has taught me how to time manage and be a team player! I would like to pay it forward by being able to support others that have dealt with tragedy. My mom has always been the first person to support others that have lost spouses because at the time of my dads death she did not have that support as their was not social media like there is today. I see the guidance that she has given others and I want to follow in her role and be able to help others as I have already experienced what they are going through. If I can make the process easier it is worth it as I know I would never be able to take away the pain!


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Oct 30, 2024. Winners will be announced on Nov 30, 2024.