Chaparral High School NJROTC raises scholarship funds in honor of fallen sailor

Sibayan family
The Sibayan family with Cadet Evan Lackey receive the Commander’s cup at a color guard event, held in honor of their son and brother, Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos Sibayan, Jan. 25, at Chaparral High School. Valley News/Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – Chaparral High Schools Naval JROTC hosted an all color guard drill meet Saturday, Jan. 25, in memory of fallen sailor Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos Sibayan. He was an alumnus of Chaparral, who was killed on the USS Fitzgerald in a collision with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan June 17, 2017.

Through the color guard meet, Chaparral students and 10 local JROTC groups came together to honor his memory by hosting the drill meet and raising funds for a scholarship in his name. His parents and brothers attended the drill meet to present the awards to the various winners. The cadets raised $2,000 from entry fees and donations from local veteran organizations.

This color guard event began in 2019 when Chaparral High School NJROTC cadets had the vision to bring the community together to honor a hero and to keep his name alive for his family by raising money to fund a scholarship in his honor with Temecula Dollars for Scholars.

Last year’s scholarship totaled $1,000. This year, the cadets exceeded that amount and will be able to fund three scholarships: one at $1,000 and two at $500. The scholarships will be awarded during the Temecula Dollar for Scholars night, May 16.

Retired Senior Chief Petty Officer Steve McGovern, the Chaparral NJROTC instructor, said, “The mission and goal of NJROTC programs is to instill citizenship and promote patriotism in our students within the program. This color guard event in honor of FC1 Carlos Sibayan did just that. The program is a cadet-led program, and this event provided the opportunity for these students to go to local veteran organizations and ask for donations and run an event to bring a community together by promoting patriotism in honoring a hero. I couldn’t be more proud of these kids and the difference they make on a daily basis.”

Submitted by Chaparral High School.