A foundation named after a Springfield sixth-grader who hanged himself after being relentlessly bullied has handed out $19,000 in college scholarships to 18 high school students.
At a ceremony Sunday in Holyoke, The Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation awarded $1,500 scholarships to A'Kala Chaires of the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, and Jezavya Rivera of Springfield Central High School.
Sixteen other students received $1,000 scholarships.
The scholarships go to students who have demonstrated efforts to combat bullying in their schools and communities.
They are named for Carl Walker-Hoover, who took his own life in April 2009 a few days before his 12th birthday.
His mother, Sirdeaner Walker, says her son's death has brought greater awareness and solutions to the problem of bullying.