LA PORTE COUNTY, IN — Unity Foundation of La Porte County is pleased to recognize ten local high school seniors as La Porte County finalists for the prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. Two of the finalists will be selected as 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars. The two scholars will each receive a full-tuition scholarship to pursue a baccalaureate degree at any accredited public or private Indiana college or university and an annual book and equipment stipend. The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program has provided approximately $6 million in tuition and book stipends to 72 La Porte County students since 1998.
“This year’s finalists are a remarkable group of young adults. We look forward to their success in their college careers, and we hope they will continue to give back to their communities,” said Shannon Walker, Unity Foundation Vice President.
The finalists for the 2024 scholarship and their respective schools are:
- Vanessa DeWitt, South Central High School
- Amelia Jaracz, La Lumiere School
- Megan Lambert, La Porte High School
- Stephanie Leon, La Porte High School
- Tatiana Miller, Michigan City High School
- Alivia Rocke, South Central High School
- Olivia Ruiz, New Prairie High School
- Brayden Sobecki, La Porte High School
- Ashley Sparks, Michigan City High School
- Miranda Wozniak, Tri-Township High School
A committee of local volunteers reviewed the applications in a blind process. Finalists were selected based on their academic achievement, service to others, extracurricular activities and, to a lesser extent, financial need. The committee then interviewed each of the ten finalists. Nominees and alternate names will be submitted to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc., the statewide administrator of the program, for the final selection – which will be announced in December.
The primary purposes of the 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.
Since 1992, Unity Foundation of La Porte County has served donors, nonprofits and local communities. As La Porte County’s community foundation, it manages $40 million in assets, administers more than 350 charitable funds, and has distributed more than $25 million through direct grants and scholarships. Unity Foundation’s mission is to strengthen La Porte County now and forever by building permanent endowments; providing leadership; offering philanthropic vehicles for everyone; and being a catalyst for social and economic vitality. For more information, please visit uflc.net or call 219-879-0327.
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.