SCCF Announces 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar Finalists

The six 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar finalists have been selected by the Steuben County Community Foundation (SCCF). After reviewing 14 highly competitive applications from the schools serving Steuben County, the committee named six finalists to continue with the four-step selection process.

Hannah Conley, Areeba Kazi, Gage King, Joel Knox, Mary “Katie” Smith, and Madelyn Wylie met on October 13 to complete phase two of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship application process, which included an interview success workshop and an impromptu essay. The final step for these young community leaders will include an interview with the selection committee and a presentation of their personal portfolio.

Angola High School senior Hannah Conley plans to attend the University of Indianapolis or University of Evansville to study pre-physical therapy, pre-med, or nursing. Angola High School senior Areeba Kazi plans to attend Purdue University, Valparaiso, or Trine University to study psychological sciences. Angola High School senior Gage King plans to attend DePauw University’s management Fellows Program with a focus on Business and Entrepreneurship. Angola High School senior Joel Knox plans to attend Indiana University to study nursing or biochemistry. Angola High School senior Mary “Katie” Smith plans to attend the University of Indianapolis to study nursing or pre-med. Prairie Heights High School senior Madelyn Wylie plans to attend Huntington University to study English education.

“SCCF is honored to facilitate the administration of this scholarship in Steuben County in order to nominate a well-rounded and hard-working student in our community who exemplifies both high academic ability and extra-curricular achievements,” said Jacqui Gentile, program officer.

The Steuben County Lilly Scholar recipient will be selected by Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), the state-side administrator of the program since 1998 and announced in mid-December. SCCF awards a $1,000 Circle of Friends scholarship to the other five finalists.

Since 1998, ICI has awarded this four-year scholarship (which includes a $900 annual stipend for books and required equipment) to a Steuben County student to attend the Indiana college or university of their choice. ICI delegates the selection process to SCCF who utilizes a committee of community volunteers to facilitate the process.

The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to accomplish the following goals: 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

There are 143 scholarships awarded statewide; the number awarded in each county is based on the number of fulltime residents in each county. In 2020, Steuben County was offered one award.

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