(BEDFORD) - James "J.T." Ernst was on spring break in Florida this week when he got the news that he had been named the Lawrence County Community Foundation's Lilly Scholar for 2013.
Mike Lewis of the Times- Mail reports that each Lilly Scholar receives a full-tuition scholarship to a four-year Indiana public or private college or university, along with a $900 stipend for required books.
Ernst, a senior at Bedford North Lawrence High School, is the son of Karen Crulo of Bedford and Jimmy Ernst, also of Bedford.
He had been accepted by five Indiana schools: the University of Evansville, Purdue University, DePauw University, Wabash College and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
He wants to study chemical engineering.
That goal seemed out of reach, through, because of Rose-Hulman's tuition price -- nearly $40,000, not including other costs and fees. But he said the scholarship changes that outlook.
Ernst is active in a number of organizations at BNL, such student council, Beta Club, Key Club and Spanish Club. He also work at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County through the AmeriCorps program.
Twenty-five county students applied for the scholarship. The selection committee, made up of five volunteers, narrowed the field to the final 10.
In addition to Ernst, the finalists included Mary Hawkins, Tessa Makximenko, Daniel McFarland and Miley Nikirk from BNL, and Rachel Embry, Emily Karr, Cole Mason, Jocelyn Schlegel and Curtis Waggoner from Mitchell High School.
The 10 finalists completed an impromptu essay and were interviewed by the selection committee.
Two names (one recipient and one alternate) were submitted to the Independent Colleges of Indiana for final selection of the recipients. ICI is a non-profit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, non-profit, private colleges and universities in the state.
The Lilly scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education. There were 142 scholarships awarded statewide.
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