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

BLOOMINGTON – The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) has announced that 10 high school seniors have been selected as finalists for the 2023 Monroe County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program.

The finalists will be honored at the Community Foundation’s Annual Report to the Community on Tuesday, November 15.

Monroe County’s 2023 Lilly Scholarship finalists include:

  • Felicia Bolander, Edgewood High School
  • Clara Crain, Edgewood High School
  • Advaith Iyengar, Bloomington High School North
  • Carina Jacobson, Bloomington High School South
  • Jake Keller, Bloomington High School South
  • Grace McKay, Bloomington High School South
  • Connor Shin, Bloomington High School North
  • Jack Steiner, Bloomington High School North
  • Hazel Stringer, Bloomington High School South
  • Hayden Wilson, Edgewood High School

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. In Monroe County, two students are awarded Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships each year.

Among their many accomplishments, this year’s Monroe County Lilly Scholarship finalists have participated in more than 50 school organizations clubs, and sports volunteered for over 40 organizations and worked in more than 20 local businesses.

They have pursued and created internships and work experiences to explore their future career paths and have translated ideas into new organizations, clubs, and businesses. As engaged members of the community, they have impacted many local nonprofits including Area 10 Agency on Aging, City of Bloomington, Community Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Justice Unlocked, New Hope for Families, Middle Way House, People, and Animal Learning Services, Pantry 279, Salvation Army, Wheeler Mission, WonderLab, YMCA, and many others. 

Tina Peterson

“In the midst of the pandemic, this exceptional group of young people did more than persevere,” said Tina Peterson, Community Foundation’s president, and CEO. “This year’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship finalists have shown remarkable motivation to take control of their futures by pursuing their passions, leading by example, and demonstrating kindness.”

“While we always regret that only two of these amazing high school seniors will ultimately receive the Lilly Scholarship, we are proud to recognize each of their accomplishments and hope that many of them will choose to stay in Indiana as they continue their educations and begin their careers.”

The Community Foundation’s Annual Report to the Community begins at 4:30 p.m. on November 15 in Shreve Hall at Ivy Tech Bloomington (200 Daniels Way, Bloomington, IN 47404). This annual event is a celebration of the Foundation’s past year of connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources. More information can be found at: https://cfbmc.org/

Monroe County’s Lilly Scholarship Application Process

Monroe County’s finalists were selected from among 21 semifinalists and 84 applications submitted by students from six of the 11 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.

Applications for the 2023 scholarship were blindly reviewed and independently scored by representatives from each high school to identify semifinalists. The number of identified semifinalists reflects each school’s senior class size.

Each semifinalist was invited to submit an updated application, which included additional application questions and recommendations. The Community Foundation’s Scholarship Selection Committee then evaluated the completed semifinalist applications. This committee, comprised of community members, 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.

Finalists were interviewed during the week of October 17, and finalist interview scores were combined with scoring from the written application. The finalists’ rankings, along with the committee’s recommendations for scholarship nominees, are submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. for the final selection of scholarship recipients for Monroe County. The two 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars for Monroe County will be named in December 2022.

Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the 1998-1999 school year and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling in excess of $439 million. Administered statewide by Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. with local support from Indiana community foundations, more than 5,000 Indiana high school students have been awarded the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship since the program’s inception.

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.

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 marcus@cfbmc.org.

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 $28.9 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.