2024 DCLPB Keynote Speaker

Clayton & Ellen Kershaw

Dallas Hilton Anatole

Friday, April 5, 2024, 7:37 AM

Clayton and Ellen’s friendship began in the hallways of Highland Park High School. As high school sweethearts, they enjoyed four years together filled with friends, baseball, and football seasons. During their senior year, they both committed to attending Texas A&M University—Clayton, accepting an invitation to play for the Aggie baseball team. After graduation in 2006, their plans changed as Clayton entered the 2006 Major League Baseball draft. Much to their surprise, he was drafted #7 in the first round by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Clayton’s career took a turn when he was called up to join the Major League team in May 2008. Since then, he has enjoyed sixteen seasons with the Dodgers in L.A. He is a three-time Cy Young Award winner, four-time Warren Spahn Award winner, 2014 National League MVP, and 2020 World Series Champion. He is also a nine-time All-Star and 2012 recipient of the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award, recognizing his humanitarian work.

Beyond the accomplishments on the field, Ellen and Clayton are most inspired by the work they get to do through their charity, Kershaw’s Challenge. The charity is a Christ-centered, others-focused organization that believes God can transform at-risk children and neighbors through the benevolence and impact of others. Kershaw’s Challenge is committed to impacting the lives of children around the world.

The heartbeat of Kershaw’s Challenge began with Ellen’s love for Africa. After Ellen had made multiple trips to Zambia, Clayton joined her for the first time in 2010, right after their wedding. He finally got to see the country and people who had captured Ellen’s heart years before. Specifically, he got to meet an incredible little girl named Hope. Hope has a story similar to millions of children in Africa. She is a strong, smart, funny girl who deserves to be loved, cared for, and empowered. Due to circumstances out of Hope’s control, she was left to fend for herself—without her parents and with the battle of HIV ahead of her.

Coming home, Clayton & Ellen had the vision of building a home for Hope and children just like her. That was the tiny spark that started Kershaw’s Challenge. Today, Kershaw’s Challenge has raised well over 20 Million dollars for organizations that are on the front lines of change for children. And Hope is a beautiful, healthy young woman thanks to the work of the Lord in her life.

Together, Ellen and Clayton are committed to their callings—on and off the field. They consider it a tremendous joy to partner together, accomplishing great things for God’s glory. Though LA is home during the baseball season, they keep their roots planted in their hometown of Dallas, raising their four children: Cali, Charley, Cooper, and Chance.