Charles Maxwell Sr. founded the scholarship in memory of his son, who died on August 6, 1989. Each year the scholarship provides financial aid to athletic high school seniors to encourage them to pursue further education in any field. It targets students who may be overlooked or over-shadowed yet who make a genuine effort — characteristics for which Cocoa Maxwell is still warmly remembered.
The fund provides four scholarships of up to $2400 each year to seniors who participate in a high school football or track program, payable in four annual installments of $600 made directly to the academic institution on the student’s behalf. Recipients are not required to continue their sport after high school graduation, nor are they restricted in the type of education they choose to pursue. They may attend a trade school, technical institute, college or university, in the subject of their choice.The only requirement is that the student must be a graduating senior from any high school in Santa Fe.
Dr. Bobby Perea, a Maxwell Fund recipient, played football at Santa Fe High School before graduating in 1992. Although he received two college football scholarships, he chose not to accept these so that he could study medicine. He took courses at the Santa Fe Community College the summer after he graduated high school “just to keep wound up academically,” before enrolling at the University of New Mexico.
“It was huge, huge,” Perea said of the impact the Charles Maxwell Scholarship on his choice to study what he wanted. “I was able to go to college and not have to worry about playing football. You just don’t expect somebody to give you money to go to college. It gave me a wind beneath my wings.”
With the Charles Maxwell Scholarship, Perea was able to get a pre-med degree from UNM — a goal he doubts he could have achieved while playing college football. After receiving his doctorate degree in Dallas, Perea returned to Santa Fe, where he opened Alignment of Life Chiropractic, in 1999. Last year he was named the top chiropractor in the Santa Fe Reporter’s annual Best of Santa Fe poll.
Applications for the Charles Maxwell Jr. Scholarship are due April 15. The application requires a 500-word personal statement and three letters of recommendation. For more information on applying for the fund, or making a donation to support future recipients, please call 471-8009.