John Beggs and Lucia Walker awarded Monroe County's 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe Country has announced Monroe County’s 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipients.

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe Country has announced Monroe County’s 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipients. High school seniors John Beggs and Lucia Walker will each receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to an Indiana public or private college of their choosing. In addition to the cost of tuition, they will receive a $900 annual stipend for books and other required materials.

“It is our pleasure to introduce John and Lucia as Monroe County’s 2021 Lilly Scholars, an honor they have each earned and deserve,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Tina Peterson. “Both of these exceptional young scholars have exhibited a commitment beyond their years to service and to community. If you are looking for affirmation that the future holds promise, I invite you to learn more about John and Lucia: inspirational leaders and admirable human beings.”

John Beggs is a senior at Bloomington High School South and the son of William and Sarah Beggs. He is a member of Bloomington High School South’s Student Council, Debate Team, Optimist School Newspaper, Sounds of South, and Men’s Tennis. John is also a volunteer tutor with Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington and a youth leader at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church.

In 2018, John created the Middle Ground Club in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The club began as a way for students with opposing views to have a respectful discussion on gun control in person rather than social media. The club fostered productive in-person conversations between students on issues in which they disagree and served as a model for teens to engage in thoughtful dialogue on many other topics.

“I am beyond grateful to have been chosen as one of this year’s Lilly Scholars,” said John Beggs. “Thank you to my teachers, coaches, Counselor Ms. Grant, and Principal Mr. Fletcher for your support throughout the past four years. Being a Lilly Scholar carries with it an incredible responsibility, and I promise I will do my best to live up to it.”

Lucia Walker is also a senior Bloomington High School South and the daughter of Maria Izzo Walker and Ron Walker Jr. She is president of Bloomington High School South Student Council, and a member of the National Honor Society, Panther Activity Council, Dance Marathon for Riley Hospital for Children, Leadership Opportunities Through Service, and Bloomington Pride Girls Lacrosse. An avid performer, Lucia has been in 10 musical theater productions with Cardinal Stage. She has also starred in shows with Sounds of South, sung the national anthem at numerous sporting events, and directed the youth Christmas pageant at St. Paul Catholic Center.

This year, Lucia helped to create Future Voters Bloomington, a student-run organization whose goal is to encourage and help young people register to vote. Serving as president, Lucia gathered student volunteers and organized a digital democracy drive. In three days, the group reached out to more than 500 students, confirmed 300 registrations, and helped more than 25 students to register to vote for the first time.

“Words cannot fully express how honored and grateful I am to receive the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship,” said Lucia Walker. “I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment and the Community Foundation for this amazing opportunity, as well as my wonderful family, friends, mentors, and all of my MCCSC teachers for their support over the years. I am excited to continue my education in the state of Indiana, and I look forward to using this scholarship to have a positive impact here in the future.”

The Community Foundation has also announced Monroe County’s eight other 2021 Lilly Scholarship finalists will each receive $1,000 scholarships to use at a college or university of their choosing:

  • Hannah Browning, Lighthouse Christian Academy
  • Ethan Cantrell, Bloomington High School North
  • Darby FitzSimmons, Bloomington High School South
  • Solveig Ksander Hicks, Bloomington High School North
  • Josephine Sparks, Bloomington High School South
  • Moya Stringer, Bloomington High School South
  • Kaitlyn Young, Bloomington High School North
  • Katherine Zinkan, Bloomington High School South

“In a challenging year for many of us, these amazing students have been a beacon of hope for the future,” said Jessika Hane, chair of the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Selection Committee. “This year’s Lilly Scholarship applicants are an inspiring group of young people doing amazing things in their schools and communities. I know I speak for the entire scholarship committee when I say that we are confident these students will lead successful careers and make a difference in Indiana and beyond.”

Monroe County’s Lilly Scholarship Application Process

Monroe County’s Lilly Scholarship recipients were selected from among 117 applications submitted by students from Monroe County high schools. Applications for the 2021 scholarship were blindly reviewed and independently scored by members of a scholarship committee at each Monroe County high school to identify 21 semifinalists. The number of semifinalists identified is reflective of each school’s senior class size. See complete list of semifinalists.

Each semifinalist was invited to submit an updated application, which included additional content and references from school and other community members, to be considered for the finalist round. The Community Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee then evaluated the completed semifinalist applications. This committee, which comprises community members and former Monroe County Lilly Scholars, blindly reviewed and scored applications from the semifinalists to select ten finalists. In selecting recipients for the Monroe County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, consideration is given to student activities and achievements, community and civic service, academic performance, and leadership potential. 

The finalists then participated in virtual interviews with the Foundation’s Scholarship Selection Committee, and their interview scores were combined with scoring from their written applications. The finalists’ rankings, along with the committee’s recommendations for scholarship nominees, were submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. for final selection of scholarship recipients for Monroe County.

About The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program:

Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are awarded four-year, full-tuition scholarships to pursue baccalaureate degrees at colleges or universities in Indiana. The scholarship also includes up to $900 annually for required textbooks and equipment.

Since the Lilly Endowment Scholarship Program’s inception in 1998, over $424 million in scholarship tuition has been provided. Administered statewide by Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. with local support from Indiana community foundations, 4,912 Indiana high school students have been awarded the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are 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.

Previous Lilly scholarship recipients from Monroe County:


  • Nicholas Graef (Edgewood); declined – United States Air Force Academy
  • Sekou Noble-Kuchera (BHSN); declined – Georgia Tech
  • Joelle Jackson (BHSN); declined – Indiana University (Wells Scholar)
  • Ava Crees (BHSS); Purdue University
  • Erica Goldsworthy (BHSN); Indiana University


  • Christian Gettelfinger (BHSN); Indiana University
  • Calvin Prenkert (BHSS); Butler University


  • Aaron Nunes (BHSS); Purdue University
  • Greta Stephenson (BHSN); Indiana University


  • Betsy Beggs (BHSS); DePauw University
  • Frances Kincaid (BHSN); Indiana University


  • Greer King (BHSN); Indiana University
  • Brian Emmons (BHSN); Indiana University


  • Sidrah Din (BHSS); Rose-Hulman
  • Riley Callahan (Lighthouse Christian Academy); Rose-Hulman


  • Emma St. John (BHSN); Indiana University
  • Winston Winkler (BHSN); Indiana University


  • Hannah Alani (BHSS); Indiana University
  • Shannon Jager (BHSN); DePauw University


  • Evelyn Bauman (BHSS); Notre Dame
  • Alex St. John (BHSN); Indiana University


  • Maha Elsarrag (BHSN); Indiana University
  • Lynne Bauman (BHSS); Notre Dame


  • Bhavin Patel (BHSN); Indiana University
  • Stephen Zerfas (BHSN); Notre Dame


  • Miranda Arthur (Edgewood); Butler
  • Audrey Ernst (Edgewood); University of Indianapolis


  • Ashley Larason (BHSS); Purdue University
  • Thomas Weakley (Edgewood); DePauw / Indiana University


  • Meehan Lenzen (BHSN); Notre Dame
  • Kristen Miller (BHSS); Indiana University


  • David Kim (BHSN); Notre Dame
  • Jenna Beasley (BHSN); Indiana University


  • Manisha Patel (BHSN); Indiana University
  • Jesse Pontius (BHSN); Purdue University


  • Ryan Hodge (Indiana Academy); Rose-Hulman
  • Isaac (Ike) Dolby (BHSN); Purdue
  • Jennifer (Laird) Black (BHSS); Butler
  • Tara Langvardt (Edgewood); DePauw University
  • Caitlin (Odya) Homenda (Edgewood); Indiana University
  • Mark Strother (BHSN); Indiana University


  • Amber (Knowlton) Todd (BHSS); Indiana University
  • David Courtney (BHSS); Earlham
  • Jennifer Richardson (BHSN); Indiana University
  • Robert (Matt) Hawkins (Edgewood); Rose-Hulman
  • Abram Hess (Indiana Academy); Indiana University
  • Anand Patel (BHSN); Indiana University


  • Theodore (Tio) Savich (BHSN); Earlham
  • Aliese Sarkissian (BHSN); DePauw University
  • Virginia Chappell (BHSS); Indiana University
  • Michael Kruszynski (Indiana Academy); Rose-Hulman
  • James Moynihan (Edgewood); Butler
  • Andrea (Stalcup) Wallace (Edgewood); University of Evansville


  • Lindsay Kile (Edgewood); Purdue
  • Ruthie (Willsey) Sterrett (BHSS); Purdue
  • Ann Marshall (BHSN); Indiana University
  • Elizabeth Sloan (BHSN); Indiana University
  • Reed Carmichael (BHSN); DePauw University
  • Talialin Fehrenbach (BHSS); Butler


  • Andrew Krebbs (Edgewood); Indiana University
  • Michael Goodman (BHSN); Indiana University
  • Alison O’Malley (Edgewood); Butler
  • Morgan Volrich Riggs (BHSN); Indiana University


  • Kathleen Tran (BHSS); Indiana University
  • Aaron Ray (Edgewood); Indiana University
  • Amanda Horvath (BHSS); Notre Dame
  • Nathan Fuller (BHSN); Rose-Hulman


  • Amber (Martindale) Yount (BHSS); Butler
  • Rebecca (Strain) Spriggs (Edgewood); University of Evansville

For more information on the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program or other scholarships administered by the Community Foundation, visit or contact Marcus Whited, Program Director at 812-333-9016 or

About Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County:

Created by individuals, families, and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has granted $30 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations since its incorporation in 1990. With a growing $33.5 million endowment, the Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources.