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Scholarship for graduating Chaparral seniors named for slain teen

The mother of a 15-year-old boy shot and killed by Las Vegas police in 2009 has set up a scholarship for graduating Chaparral High School students and is asking for donations.

The Tanner Chamberlain Live Your Dream scholarship hopes to provide scholarships of $1,000 to at least 10 students.

Chamberlain was a junior at Chaparral when he was shot and killed by police on Sept. 29, 2009. An officer shot him after the officer said the teen held a knife in front of his mother. Although an officer perceived him to be a threat, Chamberlain’s mother, Evie Oquendo, said her son was never a threat to her.

Oquendo said she wants to honor her son’s memory by providing the scholarships to students who might not be receiving enough financial aid.

“I just want someone to give back,” she said. “This is Tanner’s graduating class. Even though I want to do this every year, this year is most important to me.”

A $1,500 scholarship was given to a Chaparral graduate last year.

Oquendo said she is looking for any size donation to go toward the scholarships. She said she is donating $1,000 toward one of the scholarships, and every dollar goes to the student. The donations are tax-deductable, she said.

Donations are made through the Public Education Foundation. Donors can give by phone by calling 799-1042 or online by going to thepef.org, clicking on “donate now” and entering the name of the scholarship under “other.”

Graduating Chaparral students can apply online. Applications are due March 7.

Oquendo is grateful for the response to the scholarships she’s received from the school’s students and faculty.

“I can’t say enough things about that school and how they honor Tanner’s memory,” she said.

Contact reporter Lawrence Mower
at lmower@reviewjournal.com
or 702-383-0440.

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