The Community Foundation of Pulaski County is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for Pulaski County – Lily Bennett of Winamac Community High School. The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship (LECS) is merit-based and showcases students who are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership.

“The Lilly Endowment has been quite generous to our county since their highly competitive scholarship program began in 1998. We are proud of all our applicants and finalists – this year, we had 17 students apply from three of the schools that serve Pulaski County residents: Winamac Community, West Central, and Culver Community. Through an intensive application process, Lily Bennett was selected to represent Pulaski County in this prestigious program,” said Leeann Wright, Executive Director of the Community Foundation.

The number of LECS scholarships is based on county population. In Pulaski County, the Community Foundation coordinates the LECS Scholarship Committee, who review applications based on specific criteria: Academic Performance, Community Service & Leadership, and Character & Values. The committee then narrows down the field of applicants through a scored rubric and interview process and submits Pulaski County’s recommended nominee to the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), the statewide administrator of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. ICI reviews and approves the final selection of the scholarship recipient.

Funding for the LECS scholarship is provided by the Lilly Endowment and provides for full tuition, required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and equipment for up to 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 ICI and Indiana Humanities.

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 more than $505 million. Over 5,200 Indiana students – 43 from Pulaski County – 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.

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Community Foundation of Pulaski County (CFPC) builds resources, engages people, and inspires generosity to enrich lives in Pulaski County, Indiana.

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 the 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.