EC's Seubert, OA's Dennis Named DCF Lilly Scholarship Winners

Monday, December 4, 2023 at 2:31 PM

By Dearborn Community Foundation, news release

DCF staff made surprise visits to both award winners.

(Left to right): Alexandra Seubert, Lily Dennis, Maegan Galey, Mary Hallgarth, Nattalie Florence, Zavyn Slayback. Photos provided.

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Two Dearborn County high school seniors learned today that they are the 2024 recipients of a prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. The Dearborn Community Foundation (DCF) staff made surprise visits today to award the full-tuition scholarships to East Central High School’s Alexandra Seubert and Oldenburg Academy’s Lily Dennis.

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 of undergraduate study 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 scholars with resources and opportunities to be active leaders on their campuses and in their communities. Both the scholarship program and the LSN are supported by grants from Lilly Endowment to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), and Indiana Humanities.

“Alexandra and Lily epitomize what the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is all about: community involvement, academic achievement, character and leadership,” said Fred McCarter, Executive Director of DCF. “They were selected from among a competitive group of applicants for this high honor and our community should be very proud of Alexandra, Lily, and the other four finalists.”

Seubert of Hubbel’s Corner in Jackson Township is the daughter of John and Maureen Seubert. She plans to study Marketing in college, attending Butler University or Indiana University. She said she is excited by and thankful for the opportunity the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides. “I’m so happy and proud that all of my hard work and dedication paid off this way.”

At East Central, Seubert has been active in many clubs and groups: National Honor Society; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA); Student Council; Community Advocating for Substance-Abuse Awareness (CASA); Trojan Exchange; Trojan Young Life (Leader); Girl Scouts (Silver Award); Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA); and All Saints Catholic Youth Ministry. As a member of FCCLA, Seubert was Vice President of the ECHS chapter and a state officer/Vice President of the State Project. As a member of FCCLA, she also earned Gold Medals for the State Chapter Service Project Portfolio and a third place for FCCLA Nationals Gold Medal Chapter Service Project Portfolio. She’s also received FCCLA Ultimate Leadership Award, and Indiana State FCCLA Gold and Silver Medal Job Interviews. Seubert also participated in softball and track at ECHS. She also completed a significant number of volunteer service hours and was employed during the summer and the school year.

Dennis of Manchester Township is the daughter of Sara and Randy Dennis. She plans to major in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science at Indiana University. She said she didn’t know quite what to say when learning she was a new Lilly Scholar. “I’m really grateful. I’m thankful. I was grateful just for the opportunity to apply. This is just great.”

At Oldenburg Academy, Dennis participated in many clubs and groups: National Honor Society; Student Government (class representative); Recyclones; Book Club; All Saints Parish Youth Group; Adopt-A-Sis; Prom Committee; 4-H (Treasurer and President in Great Caesars Club); Junior Leaders; Academic Team (English Team Captain); Academy Ambassadors; Campus Ministry; Lecturing Group; and Board Game Club. She also participated in volleyball, basketball and track and field and cheerleading. She also completed a significant number of volunteer service hours. Dennis was also employed during the summer and the school year.

DCF administers the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program (LECSP) in Dearborn County. A five-member scholarship committee and the DCF staff annually review each application during Phase I of the scholarship process. During Phase I, committee members assign scores to each blinded application based on an essay written to address a specific question. DCF assigns additional scores based on financial need, cumulative academic scores, and number of family dependents.

Based on the highest total scores during Phase I of the process, six Lilly finalists are selected to move on to Phase II of the selection process. In October, the finalists complete Phase II, which consists of a personal interview, including a PowerPoint presentation to the scholarship committee and writing an impromptu essay on a specific topic. The scholarship committee then submits the top-scoring applicants to the DCF Board for approval before sending the nominations to the statewide administrator for LECSP, Independent Colleges of Indiana, for the selection of scholarship recipients.

Lilly Endowment Inc. created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the 1998-1999 school year and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling more than $505 million. More than 5,200 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.

OTHER FOUR LILLY FINALISTS RECEIVE DCF SCHOLARSHIP

The four remaining LECSP finalists are recognized as 2024 Dearborn Community Foundation Scholarship recipients. Each student receives a $1,000 scholarship paid directly to the student’s school. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years of secondary education at the college or university of the student’s choice. The Foundation is pleased to award the 2024 DCF scholarships to: Nattalie Florence, East Central High School; Maegan Galey, Lawrenceburg High School; Mary Hallgarth, South Dearborn High School; and Zavyn Slayback, LHS.

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.

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