The prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship drew fifty applicants from Ripley County’s class of 2024. The field of candidates, through an anonymous process, was narrowed to five finalists; Mary Blankman, Hailee Grooms, Elena Kuisel, Claire Saner, and Madison Wanstrath. A ten-member committee made up of representatives from each of the 5 public school corporations serving Ripley County, scored applicants on academic performance, citizenship, leadership, and personal attitude based on community involvement, school activities, and work experience. “We are delighted with this year’s Lilly Endowment Community Foundation Scholarship finalists. Each of the finalists demonstrated immense passion and potential,” noted Ripley County Community Foundation Executive Director Amy Streator. “It is truly encouraging and inspiring to witness such promising young individuals in our community.”
The five Ripley County finalists include:
Mary Blankman, a senior at East Central High School, and daughter of Keith and Jazmin Blankman. During her high school career, Mary has been the captain of the dance team, Business Professionals of America as President, Spanish Club as President and a member of the National Honor Society.
Hailee Grooms, daughter of Andrew and Alison Grooms, is a senior at Batesville High School. During her high school career, she has participated in Academic Team, Drama Club, Choir and Girl Scouts.
Elena Kuisel is a senior at Batesville High School, and the daughter of Jason and Emiko Kuisel. During high school, Elena has been a member of the Kiwanis Student Leadership Academy, National Honor Society and student council as Vice President, and the soccer team where she was captain.
Claire Saner, daughter of Andy and Jen Saner, is a senior at Batesville High School. Claire has been involved in National Honor Society as Vice President, Key Club as Social Media Manager and Treasurer, basketball and softball teams where she was Captain, and Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Language to study abroad in Spain where she received a Diploma of Excellence.
Madison Wanstrath, daughter of Jeff and Amy Wanstrath, is a senior at Batesville High School. During high school, Madison participated in Kiwanis Student Leadership Academy, National Honor Society, and Key Club.
The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient will receive full-tuition for four years to an Indiana College of the recipient’s choice, plus a $900 per year book stipend. The other four finalists will each receive a $2,000 scholarship from the Ripley County Community Foundation for their freshman year, the Grateful Family Scholarship in their sophomore year, and the Jane Deiwert Scholarship in their junior year.
Scores are now sent to the Independent Colleges of Indiana to formally determine a winner. The top student will receive full tuition to the Indiana school of his or her choice, along with a $900 per yer book stipend.
Since the 1997-98 school year, Lilly Endowment Inc. has provided over $486M in grant support for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. 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.