Italy Lewis named Lawrence County Foundation’s 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

BEDFORD – Italy Lewis, daughter of Allison and Scott Lewis, has been named Lawrence County Community Foundation’s 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

Italy responded to the news by sharing, “I am so incredibly grateful to have been chosen as the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar for Lawrence County.  Although I’m sure there were others who were also deserving of this scholarship, I am absolutely honored to be the one who earned it.  I am still having a hard time believing it!  I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made me the person I am, including my family and the teachers and staff of the NLCS Community.”

A reference letter from a community leader writes, “Italy is a perceptive, sharp, quick individual with a high aptitude for all academic subjects. She is a strong leader (but also knows how to sit back and let others take the lead). She is an active, outgoing presence in the community. Italy’s endless curiosity, combined with her willingness to take risks, leads me to believe there will be no limit to her growth and achievements in college and beyond.”

After graduating from Bedford North Lawrence High School, Italy plans to pursue post-secondary studies, majoring in Business with a focus on Accounting and Marketing. Prior to the announcement, she had hoped to attend the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University or the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. The Lilly Scholarship will open many possibilities for her.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for otherwise unreimbursed full tuition required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Italy will also have the opportunity to participate in the Lilly Scholar Network (LSN) which connects both current scholars and alumni with resources and opportunities to be active leaders on their campuses and in their communities.

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 more than $439 million. More than 5,000 Indiana students have received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship since the program’s inception.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are: to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana businesses, governmental, educational, nonprofit, and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

The 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. 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.

Since 1997, Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) has administered the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program statewide with funding provided by Lilly Endowment. Founded in 1948, ICI serves as the collective voice for the state’s twenty-nine private, nonprofit colleges and universities. It is an honor for the Lawrence County Community Foundation to be a part of this exceptional program. We are impressed each year by the caliber of students we have here in Lawrence County. These young women and men have been a positive force for change by serving their schools and community. It is heartening to know we have young leaders devoted to Indiana. We look forward to seeing their accomplishments for years to come.