2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Recipient

The Ripley County Community Foundation is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for Ripley County – Mason Schutte of East Central High School. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership.

“Mason embodies the characteristics of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. He is a high achieving student who participates in high school athletics, chairs the high school spirit gear store, is actively involved in 4-H, consistently volunteers his time at church events and the local food pantry, and devotes time to read to elementary school children,” said Amy Streator, Executive Director of the Ripley County Community Foundation.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship will provide Mason with 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 undergraduate students studying on a full-time basis 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.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is one of the most competitive and prestigious scholarships offered by the Ripley County Community Foundation. Candidates are evaluated on grades, extra-curricular activities, test scores, community involvement, and the quality of multiple essays. The selection committee is composed of Ripley County residents representing all areas of the county. During the evaluation process, the committee is not given names of the applicants nor the schools they attend. During the final interviews, the student is introduced by their first name only. This provides for as much objectivity as possible. Once the Ripley County Community Foundation scholarship committee had chosen and interviewed the finalists, the candidate’s applications were sent to the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) for the final selection of the recipient.

The other top finalists from Ripley County were Ariel Haessig of Milan High School, Thomas Hartman of Batesville High School, Luke Jackson of East Central High School, and Madison Rahschulte of Batesville High School. “Each of these finalists are shining examples of students who made a difference in their school community as well as the larger community”, Streator stated. Each of these students will receive a Ripley County Community Scholarship in the sum of $2,000 in their freshman year, a Grateful Families Scholarship in their Sophomore year, and a Jane Deiwert Scholarship in their Junior year.

In addition to administering the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, The Ripley County Community Foundation administers more than 40 additional scholarship funds that provide scholarship awards to graduating seniors and current college students in Ripley County. Scholarship applications are currently open at www.rccfonline.com. The deadline to apply is February 1, 2023. Each scholarship has unique criteria, and awards are given for a variety of activities and for a wide range of grade point averages. All current high school seniors are invited to visit www.rccfonline.com to complete the universal application to determine for which specific scholarships they may apply. Questions may be directed first to high school counselors or emailed to office@rccfonline.org.

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.

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