The Blue River Community Foundation is proud to partner with Lilly Endowment, Inc. to select one Shelby County high school senior as a nominee for the 2019 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. Independent Colleges of Indiana on behalf of Lilly Endowment, Inc. will make final scholarship selections and notify the Blue River Community Foundation of their decision by December 8, 2018. BRCF will notify the recipient of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship by December 19, 2018. The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is designed to raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana and further leverage the ability of Indiana’s community foundations to improve the quality of life of the state’s residents.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides full tuition, fees, and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for books and equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis, leading to a baccalaureate degree at an accredited Indiana public or private college or university.

The application deadline is September 1, 2018. 


- Shelby County resident

- Enrolled in an accredited Indiana high school

- On track to graduate with a diploma by the end of June, 2019

- Intend to pursue a full-time baccalaureate course of study at an accredited public or private college or university in Indiana

Selection criteria

The Blue River Community Foundation intends to select students who are unlikely to qualify for other significant scholarship assistance. Selection of the scholarship recipients will be based on the following:

- Community/School Activities: Recipients will have a record of sustained, meaningful service to their community, OR sustained, meaningful school activity OR both.

- Academic Commitment: Recipients will demonstrate a strong commitment to academics and will have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA, and have a minimum 1100 SAT total score or 22 ACT comparable.

- Character/Maturity/Leadership: Recipients will be of good character and will represent the Shelby County community in a positive fashion.

- Unique Circumstances: Consideration will be given for unusual personal, family, or financial circumstances or challenges.


2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

Emmy Wendling

Emerson Wendling - Lilly Candidate 2017.jpg

Emerson (Emmy) J. Wendling is the Class of 2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient for Shelby County.  Emmy is the daughter of Albert and Tonya Wendling.   She will graduate in May from Southwestern High School and plans to attend Butler University to pursue a degree in pharmacy. 

At the time of application, Emmy was ranked second in her graduating class and her GPA was 4.4 on a 4.0 scale.  She is involved in several extracurricular activities including; Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Peer Mentoring, 4-H, basketball, cheerleading, and softball.  In addition, she is an active community volunteer who has served in various capacities for Hospice, Waldron Elementary, Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, and as a student member on the Southwestern Schools Strategic Planning Committee.  Emmy has also served as a Senate Page for Senator Jean Leising. 

Besides her numerous activities, Emmy was selected to represent Southwestern High School at Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders in 2016. She was also named a 2017 recipient of the Rising Star of Indiana Award.  This program administered by the Indiana Association of Principals is designed to honor high school juniors for their academic achievement.  

The Foundation’s competitive selection process for this scholarship begins with an online application.  Students must provide a written essay, two letters of recommendation, and a scholastic profile completed by their school counselor.  Meaningful community involvement, extracurricular activities, academic history and commitment, character, and the student’s potential for success are also considered by the BRCF scholarship committee during the application evaluation process.  According to Julie Alvis, Youth and Education Program Officer for the Blue River Community Foundation, the committee evaluated a total of 39 fully completed, qualifying applications for the 2018 scholarship.  “The group of applicants this year was extremely strong.   These students are not only sound academically, but their personal accomplishments are outstanding.  Since Shelby County can only award one Lilly Scholarship, our committee members were faced with a difficult decision.  They spend hours reviewing and scoring applications because of the difference a scholarship of this magnitude makes in the life of a student.” 

After thorough review of each application, which the Foundation’s scholarship committee does in the blind (applicant’s names are removed from viewing during this phase of the selection process), six finalists were selected for a personal interview.  Selection criteria considered during the interview include determination, decision making skills, knowledge of what is required to succeed in college and the ability to apply that knowledge, goal orientation and evidence of life planning, and intellectual curiosity in the student’s chosen field.

In addition to Emmy, Bryce Asher (Shelbyville High School), Kelsie Bullard (Southwestern High School), Emily Coffey (Shelbyville High School), Reid Monhollen (Triton Central High School), and Alivia (Mattie) Schornick (Southwestern High School) were also interviewed for the scholarship.   Due to their exceptional academic and personal achievements, these five students will receive a four-year renewable scholarship from one of the 81 funds administered by BRCF. 

Independent Colleges of Indiana oversees the administration of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship program and provides final review and selection of the recipients.  ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 30 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state and oversees the administration of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program.

The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education.  Indiana still ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree.  There were 143 scholarships awarded statewide.

Blue River Community Foundation
54 W Broadway Street
Shelbyville, IN 46176

View the BRCF Scholarship Book
Learn about opportunities to earn cash for college.

Questions about the Lilly Endowment Scholarship?
Contact Julie Alvis, Youth and Education Program Officer.

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