The Community Foundation of Wabash County is pleased to announce that Katelyn Rank is recipient of the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for Wabash County. Katelyn is a senior at Southwood High School and daughter of Sarah Ann and Brian Ranck of rural Wabash County. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership.
“Katelyn embodies the great qualities we look for in a Lilly Endowment Community Scholar. She is a strong student, a leader among her peers, a volunteer in many causes, and a hard worker who will benefit from a tuition scholarship,” said Community Foundation Vice President Julie Garber.
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 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.
Katelyn plans to obtain a bachelor of nursing degree in college. A personal experience with the medical profession led her to pursue a career in nursing. She said, “I want to devote my life to helping others. Being exposed to the field of nursing when I was fifteen has helped provide me guidance about my future, and seeing the progression of the healthcare field during the span of the pandemic to present time was inspiring because nurses held fast through its entirety.”
In determining Wabash County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholar nominee, consideration was given to multiple criteria, including academic performance, financial need, work experience, volunteer and community service commitments, and leadership responsibilities. After the field of applicants was narrowed to a small list of finalists, the Community Foundation conducted interviews to determine the single nominee, whose name was recommended to ICI, the statewide administrator of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. As program administrator, ICI approves the final selection of scholarship recipients for each county.
“Wabash County truly appreciates this opportunity to reduce the burden of college costs on our families and is proud of the caliber of students who have represented the county in the LECS program,” said Jim Smith, Community Foundation board member. “Few investments in a community are greater than investments in our youth.”
Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the 1998-99 school year and has supported the program every year since with grants totaling in excess of $486 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: 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.
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. 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.