INDIANA — Several first-generation Indiana college students are getting a boost to their education funds this semester and re-connecting with influential educators who helped along the way after being named “Realizing the Dream” recipients by Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) including a Linton student.
Made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the scholarship program annually recognizes first-generation college students from ICI’s 29 private, non-profit colleges and universities. Students are selected for the $3,000 award for outstanding achievement during their freshman year as they successfully advance toward completing their bachelor’s degrees.
To honor recipients, ICI created individual videos of each student describing what it means to them to be a first-generation college student and thanking the influential educator they have chosen to honor. Videos can be found at icindiana.org/rtd.
“Thanks to the continued support of Lilly Endowment, we get the opportunity to hear the inspiring stories of these first-generation students and the impact local educators have had on their drive to succeed academically,” ICI President & CEO David W. Wantz said. “These scholarship awards will provide critical support for these young people who are dreaming of future success.”
In addition to the students’ scholarship awards, the influential educators also receive $1,000 in professional development grants.
This year’s recipients and their influential educators are listed below. Information includes:
- The student’s name and hometown;
- The college/university the student is attending
- The name of the student’s most influential teacher/mentor, the name of the school
Jenna Littlejohn, Linton, University of Evansville – Bridget Lester, The Indiana Academy for Science
Elliandra Christina Morales, Hobart, Anderson University – Alaina Kent, Indiana Connections Academy
Abbie Suiter, Elkhart, Bethel University – Deborah Yoder, Elkhart Christian Academy
Brianna Copenhaver, Greenwood, Butler University – Stephen Blackburn, Promise Road Elementary School
AnnaMaria Hernandez, Whiting, Calumet College of St. Joseph – Wendy Akers, Area Career Center
Jeremy Espinoza, Elkhart, DePauw University – Elise Maller, Weisser Park School
Diana Santiago-Cruz, Richmond, Earlham College – Tre Ronne, Richmond High School
Darian Porter, Evansville, Franklin College – Knetra Shaw, Lincoln School
Bryan A. Moreno, Goshen, Goshen College – Matthew P. James, Goshen High School
DaZhané Jones, Indianapolis, Grace College – Alicia Hervey, The PATH School
Mya Urba, Westfield, Hanover College – Jason Bousman, Westfield High School
Julian Garcilazo, South Bend, Holy Cross College – Andrea Smolinski, Saint Joseph High School
Olivia Grace Markley, Markle, Huntington University – Mark Buzzard, Huntington North High School
Jaelyn Fox, Churubusco, Indiana Institute of Technology – Jordan Turner, Churubusco Jr/Sr High School
Jaileen Diaz, Portage, Indiana Wesleyan University – Trinitie Braner, Portage High School
Valeria Jimenez, Akron, Manchester University – Kristopher Walker, Tippecanoe Valley High School
Luis Oviedo, Indianapolis, Marian University – Jason Hendrickson, North Central High School
Khloye V. Strickland, Mackey, Oakland City University – Gary Horrall, Waldo J. Wood Memorial High School
Courtney Valmore, Indianapolis, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology – Jillian Paulen, Herron High School
Isabell Coryea, Plainfield, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College – Share Abrell, Plainfield High School
Hannah Stewart, Westville, Saint Mary’s College – Bobbi Hall, Westchester Intermediate School
Kelsey Denison, Fort Wayne, Taylor University – Jennifer Knarr, Blackhawk Middle School
Kristen Azzue, Waterloo, Trine University – Susan Zuber, DeKalb High School (retired)
Mariana Fletes-Cuevas, Shelbyville, University of Indianapolis – Jennifer Teague, Shelbyville Central Schools
Gavin Wade Ealey, Fort Wayne, University of Notre Dame – Alicia Baumgartner, Bishop Luers High School
Elma Cehic, Fort Wayne, University of Saint Francis- Greg Novak, Canterbury School
Fatima Garcia, Portage, Valparaiso University – James Asbury, Portage High School
Richard Pan, Crawfordsville, Wabash College – Anita Harris, Mollie B. Hoover Elementary
About Independent Colleges of Indiana
Independent Colleges of Indiana serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, non-profit 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.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
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 founder’s 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.