Drew Chapin Scholarship

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi

The Drew Chapin Memorial Scholarship for Change memorializes Drew Chapin, now deceased, a 2003 graduate of GCHS who lived his life consciously and was committed to family, the pursuit of knowledge, respect for all persons and cultures, peace, and celebrating life. The scholarship honors Grayslake Central High students who are knowledgeable about national and international social problems and have a personal philosophy about what actions they might take to improve some aspect of our world. The recipient is someone who brings humor, energy, hope and compassion to everyday projects and every human interaction. Recipients receive a $2,000 stipend.

GCHS seniors interested in applying for the scholarship can pick up an application form in the GCHS Counseling office.

Drew Chapin traveling in Turkey, summer, 2004.

Meet our 2022 Scholarship Recipient

Carolyn Nelson

This May, at Grayslake Central’s Honors night, we were proud to present our son’s namesake scholarship to Ms. Carolyn Johnson. Carolyn possesses many of the qualities we look for in our recipients–especially that of improving some aspect of our world. In addition, she shares the same love for Spanish and dance that Drew did.

This fall Carolyn will be attending Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. She plans to major in Speech Pathology and minor in Spanish. To enhance her studies, Carolyn hopes to visit Spain to grasp an even greater knowledge of the language and culture than she has learned through Duolingo and her AP Spanish class. Last October Carolyn received the Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish.

Carolyn’s ultimate goal is to become a bilingual speech pathologist—a position that is sorely needed in our schools. Bilingual speech pathologists can more efficiently help Spanish speakers communicate effectively.

Choose one of two ways to donate to the Drew Chapin Scholarship Fund:

Pay Online

Click here to use your credit card to donate directly to the Drew Chapin Scholarship Fund through the Grayslake Central High School (GCHS) District 127 online store, called MySchoolBucks. Your contribution will go directly into the GCHS Drew Chapin Scholarship Fund account.
MySchoolBucks Login Directions

Send a Check

Write a check to Drew Chapin Scholarship Fund and mail it to…

Grayslake Community High School District Business Office
400 N Lake St Grayslake, IL 60030-1499
c/o Drew Chapin Scholarship Fund


Besides paying tribute to Drew Chapin, proceeds from this fund-raising effort go to the Drew Chapin Scholarship for Change which annually provides $2,000 scholarships to Grayslake Central High School seniors.

Who was Drew Chapin? (a.k.a. Andrew, Andres Chapin)

Drew Chapin spent all his school years in Grayslake, graduating among lifelong friends in 2003. Known as Mr. Hustle to his soccer and basketball teammates, Drew attacked music, acting, academics, service projects, sports, and goofing off with equal intensity.

Drew lived his life consciously and in the present moment. He believed strongly that “less was more,” and was committed to the following fundamentals of living:

  1. Maintaining strong relationships with friends and family
  2. The ruthless pursuit of knowledge
  3. Respecting the inherent worth and dignity of every person and every culture
  4. Participating in non-violent activities promoting issues of peace and social justice
  5. Choosing a healthy, low-impact lifestyle
  6. Celebrating life through dance, music, and being barefoot as much as possible.

The recipient of a full-tuition academic scholarship to Hanover College in Indiana, Drew spent his two years there fiercely pursuing his academic, interpersonal and spiritual goals. Though he participated in a broad range of offerings, his greatest energy went to social activism. Drew was the President of People for Peace, a member of Love Out Loud and International Club, and a devoted International Pal.

Study abroad took Drew on a service project to Calnali, Mexico in February 2004. That summer he arranged a job teaching English to 4th and 7th graders in Istanbul, Turkey. By spring semester 2005 Drew was one of only two Americans studying at the Universitie Castille de la Mancha in Ciudad Real, Spain. At the time of his death he was fluent in English and Spanish, conversational in French, and had learned quite a lot of Turkish and Italian. You’d never know this young man began his school career a year late due to a speech impediment!

Drew was killed when an unconscious driver hit his bicycle August 21, 2005, less than a month after his 21st birthday.  His last hours were spent at his beloved alma mater playing tennis with his best friend. He is buried adjacent to those Grayslake North tennis courts.

Drew wanted to change the world one person at a time. This scholarship is a small attempt toward fulfilling his dream of doing just that.

While we no longer host the Drew Chapin Memorial Jazz Jam and Concert, hosted by the Grayslake Park District to raise funds for the Drew Chapin Scholarship for Change, we have many fond memories of the years when we held this fun event. Held in late summer, community members, area professional musicians, and students from the Grayslake Jazz Combo Workshop performed and improvised over jazz tunes. Thank you to Tony Basone, Paul Nielsen, and Dan Prowse, who anchored the rhythm section for the event over many years.

Please enjoy our gallery from past concerts.

View Photo Gallery

We are proud to list the following recipients of the Drew Chapin Memorial Scholarship for Change. All of these young people exemplify the qualities that Drew pursued in his life.

  • 2006: Lorena Martinez and Dan Yadron
  • 2007: Maureen Nasir
  • 2008: Chesley Waggoner
  • 2009: Zusanna Skiwot
  • 2011: Kathryn Dickson
  • 2012: Elizabeth Arnold
  • 2013: Jonelyn Gabriel
  • 2014: Steven Anderson
  • 2015: Jennifer Barreca
  • 2015: Addison Brown
  • 2016: Zoe Schnitzler
  • 2017: Rachel Karl
  • 2018: Grace Fick
  • 2019: Maya Roytman
  • 2020: Lilia Begin
  • 2020: Sylvia Kendera
  • 2021: Lillian Bak
  • 2022: Carolyn Nelson