Another Season of Scholarships

The ironweed has started blooming out on the edge of the fields, so we know summer is going to move along soon and make way for autumn. The deep purple colors are eye-catching and impressive. We are just as impressed with the bright young scholars we just introduced as our eight finalists for the 2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship (LECS). A new senior class of Owen County students are indeed blooms to savor and the launch of the scholarship season is an annual rite here at your OCCF just like the arrival of new wildflowers.

Our finalists are Luke Brinson from Edgewood High School, and Heather Dutt, Allie Goss, Madeline Guy, Caleb Harris, Vitoria Hey, Nechole Klee, and Madison Tussey from Owen Valley. These students will now be completing the full application for the LECS, including an essay, and participating in interviews with our Scholarship Committee. We reviewed a lot of impressive school transcripts and test scores to end up with this group of eight. The competition was tough and will just get tougher.

Another new season of bright Owen County blooms always fills us with hope and optimism. We consider the sunny futures of these newly minted seniors and immediately start thinking back to the Owen County scholars from years gone by. We’ve been awarding this top academic award for our community since 1998 when Kristen Sweat Heath received the first. Our 38th scholar will be named from among these eight finalists.

We have reasons to be optimistic about these young people because we’ve seen such great things from the 37 scholars that preceded them and used this award to complete their educational plans and go on to great things. Our scholars are still a big part of this local charity.

Your OCCF has for the last several years worked to have a former Lilly Scholar on our board of directors. Jackie Bixler, Josh Clark, and Kelsey Hanlon have all served and Heather Light currently sits on the board. Amber Trowbridge Mullin serves on our LECS Selection Committee.

We were very pleased to work with Lilly Scholar Lindsey Vuke Clark on the interior design of our new office last year. Lindsey and her Lilly Scholar husband Josh Clark operate their successful Barberry Homes business here in Owen County.

Kristen Fuhs Wells, vice president of Indiana Humanities, was the keynote speaker at our scholarship event earlier this year.

We are gratified to see so many of our former Lilly Scholars working in or near to Owen County carrying out the work that their education prepared them for such as teaching in our local schools like Jacy Schrougham.

Every year when a new season of scholarship dawns, we are thrilled to meet and get to know these successful young people. We know that whoever ends up receiving this prestigious academic award will represent Owen County proudly. And we know we’ll enjoy getting to know them and watch their academic progress and eventual arrival in the “real world.”

The LECS is our premier award. We celebrate the recipient because we want to celebrate academic achievement here in Owen County. We want to support these students in their pursuit of their education so we can move our entire community forward. Our community has historically seen education levels of our citizens trail the state and national averages. We work to find ways through our work with our donors to advance academic achievement.

If you would like to know more about how you can help support educational achievement in Owen County, contact us to find out how the Owen County Community Foundation might help you with your charitable plans. You can call me at 812-829-1725, email me at mark@owencountycf.org, visit us online at owencountycf.org, or stop by and visit us in person at our office at 60 E. Market Street on the south side of the Courthouse Square in Spencer.

Your OCCF is committed to helping our communities become better places to live, grow, and work. We value our children and want them to help them succeed and be safe.