Ten high school seniors recognized as finalists for Monroe County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships

Ten high school seniors have been selected as finalists for the 2023 Monroe County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program.

Monroe County’s two scholarship recipients to be announced in December

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) has announced that ten high school seniors have been selected as finalists for the 2023 Monroe County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. Congratulations to these exceptional students:

  • Kyle Davis, Bloomington High School South
  • Dominic D’Onofrio, Bloomington High School North
  • William Foley, Bloomington High School North
  • Teagan Hanna, Bloomington High School North
  • Ingrid Pendergast, Bloomington High School North
  • Anson Reynolds, Bloomington High School South
  • Dylan Stringer, Bloomington High School South
  • Lucy Tait, Bloomington High School South
  • Joshua Tait, Bloomington High School South
  • Layla Vamos, Bloomington High School North

Among their many accomplishments, this year’s Monroe County Lilly Scholarship finalists have participated and held leadership roles in more than 30 school clubs and organizations, including Student Councils, Academic Super Bowl, Athletic Boards, National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, Model UN, Investment Club, Women Empowerment Club, Environmental Club, Diversity Club, and many more.

They have all been active in a variety of sports, including volleyball, softball, cross country, track and field, tennis, swimming, intramural basketball, rock climbing, taekwondo, and ultimate frisbee. In the fine arts, they have collectively pursued writing, drawing, painting, stained glass, ceramics, band, orchestra, choir, and theater.

As engaged community members, this year’s finalists have demonstrated service to the community as mentors, tutors, camp counselors, caregivers, volunteers, activists, advocates, and fundraisers. Among the many local nonprofits that their service has impacted are local churches, retirement centers, Habitat for Humanity, Monroe County Public Library, Community Kitchen, Bloomington Animal Shelter, WonderLab, Beacon, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Monroe County United Ministries, YMCA, Hilltop Garden, Down Syndrome Family Connection, My Sisters Closet, and others.

“Every year, we are inspired by all the young people that pursue scholarships through the Foundation, and this year is no exception,” said Tina Peterson, Community Foundation’s president and CEO. “This year’s ten Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship finalists are a case in point. Each has shown remarkable achievement while also demonstrating a commitment to community and service to others.

“While only two of these impressive high school seniors will ultimately receive the Lilly Scholarship, we are proud to recognize each of their accomplishments,” added Peterson. “Ultimately, we hope all of this year’s applicants will elect to not only stay in Indiana for post-secondary education but will also choose to begin their careers and make the Indiana Uplands region their home.”

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program (LECSP) will provide 147 scholarships statewide and two scholarships in Monroe County. LECSP scholarships may be used for otherwise unreimbursed full tuition, required fees, and a special allocation of up to $900 per year. The special allocation may cover the costs for required books and equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university.

The program is administered statewide by Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) and locally in Monroe County through the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County.

Monroe County’s finalists were selected from among 21 semifinalists and 143 applications submitted by students from seven of the ten high schools that serve Monroe County students. Eligible schools include The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship, Covenant Christian School, Bloomington Graduation School, Bloomington High School North, Bloomington High School South, Edgewood High School, Harmony School, Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics & Humanities, Lighthouse Christian Academy, and Seven Oaks Classical School.

Evaluation Process for Monroe County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships:

Applications are blindly reviewed and independently scored by members of a Lilly Scholarship committee at each Monroe County high school to identify semifinalists. The number of semifinalists identified is determined by each school’s senior class size.

Each semifinalist was invited to submit an updated application, which included additional content and references from schools and other community members. The Community Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee then evaluated the semifinalist applications. This committee, comprised of community members and a former Monroe County Lilly Scholar, 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.

During the week of October 23, each finalist is interviewed, and their interview scores are combined with scoring from the written applications. The finalists’ rankings, along with the committee’s recommendations for scholarship nominees, are then submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. for final selection of scholarship recipients for Monroe County prior to the formal announcement in December.

Lilly Endowment created LECSP for the 1997-98 school year and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling more than $486 million. More than 5,000 Indiana students have received Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships since the program’s inception.

The primary purposes of LECSP 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.

For more information on the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program or other scholarships administered by CFBMC, visit https://www.cfbmc.org/lasting-impact/apply-for-a-scholarship/ or contact Marcus Whited, Program Director, at 812-333-9016 or [email protected].

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 $44 million endowment, the Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Since 1997, Independent Colleges of Indiana has administered the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program statewide with funding provided by Lilly Endowment Inc. Founded in 1948, ICI serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20 percent of its undergraduates.