Mother honors late daughter’s passion with dancing scholarship

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It has been one year since a horrific crash took the life of a 15-year-old girl.  

Hope Shaffer was killed January 15, 2020.

She was in the backseat of a Driver’s ED vehicle when it was rear-ended near I-240 and Shields.  

“In some ways, it feels like it’s been just yesterday and some ways, it feels like it’s been a long time,” said her mom, Charla Shaffer.  

The day is forever etched in Charla’s heart.  

“I literally, I mean I literally thought that there was no way that I could live through the loss of my daughter. I thought it would actually kill me. On the day that she died, I lost my job. My job was mothering her,” said Charla.  

Hope’s mom says she was a wildly gifted ballerina.

She had big dreams of making it as a professional dancer, but more than anything, she wanted to share her love of dance with others.  

“Her love and passion for ballet; she just wanted to share that with everyone who had the same passion,” said Charla.  

Since her death, her mom has taken on that dream for Hope.  

“Dancing for Eternity,” a memorial scholarship was created in Hope’s name.

Its goal is to provide dance lessons to young children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them.  

“She would be so thrilled and so happy to be able to help children have ballet lessons who might not otherwise be able to,” said Shaffer.  

So far, five dancers have accepted scholarships and are now dancing.  

One of Hope’s former teachers, Olivia Spivey, is now teaching 9-year-old Ellyn Woods, a scholarship recipient.  

“It brings her joy to be at the dance studio that Hope was at and to be dancing in her memory. She knows that she’s at Take A Bow because of Hope. All of my dancers have something to look up to,” said Spivey.  

Hope’s mom says her light is continuing to shine and her name is more meaningful than ever.

Charla hopes to expand and give even more children the opportunity to dance in the future.  

“It just blesses my heart when they say we are dancing for Hope. It means a lot to me,” she said.  

If you would like to donate to “Dancing for Eternity” or you would like your child to be considered for a scholarship, visit the scholarship’s website.

A completely free dance camp will also take place this summer for children between the ages of 8 to 12. You can also find information on registration on the website above.  

Before her death, Hope wrote a children’s book.

In the past year, her parents have had it published. It is available for purchase on Amazon. You can find a link to buy it on the link provided above.  

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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