18 given scholarships named after bullying victim

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HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) — 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 just 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.

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