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LA PORTE, IN — Megan Lambert and Stephanie Leon are recipients of the 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for La Porte County. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership. Both recipients are seniors at La Porte High School.

Lambert has demonstrated outstanding leadership in several volunteer, extracurricular and athletic activities. She has participated in mission trips, Leadership La Porte County, newspaper, cross country, track and field, National Honor Society and more. She has excelled academically, including in advanced placement, dual credit and honors courses, and is ranked at the top of her class. Lambert plans to study health science and become a Physician’s Assistant.

Leon is committed to community improvement. She is passionate about helping people and aspires to channel this passion into a fulfilling career. Throughout her high school career Stephanie has balanced volunteer service, academic success, and extracurricular activities. Her involvement includes French Club, National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society, and sports. She is ranked at the top of her class and has excelled in her coursework, which includes advanced placement, dual credit and honors courses.

Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years. The scholarship is for full-time undergraduate students leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars may also participate in the Lilly Scholars Network (LSN), which connects both current scholars and alumni with resources and opportunities to be active leaders on their campuses and in their communities. Both the scholarship program and LSN are supported by grants from Lilly Endowment to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) and Indiana Humanities.

“Each of this year’s finalists impressed the review committee with their academic and personal accomplishments. Stephanie and Megan stood out for their academic achievements, service to others and communication skills,” said Shannon Walker, Unity Foundation Vice President.

In determining La Porte County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholar nominees, consideration was given to academic achievement, service to others, extracurricular activities and, to a lesser extent, financial need by the review committee.  After the field of applicants was narrowed down, the committee interviewed each of the finalists and submitted their nominations to ICI, the statewide administrator of the program, which approves the final selection of scholarship recipients.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program has provided approximately $6 million in tuition and book stipends to 72 La Porte County students since 1998. 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.

The eight remaining finalists will each receive a $2,000 Robert L. Ludington and Anita Huppenthal Ludington Scholarship through Unity Foundation and are eligible to apply for additional scholarships administered by Unity Foundation.

Graduating high school seniors, continuing students, and non-traditional students seeking to obtain a professional certificate, or associate, undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree are invited to apply for the many scholarships administered by Unity Foundation. Visit uflc.net to learn more and apply starting January 1, 2024.

Since 1992, Unity Foundation of La Porte County has served donors, nonprofits and local communities. As La Porte County’s community foundation, it manages $41 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 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. Although the Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, 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. 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. 

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