Seymour senior receives Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

Tribune staff reports

A Jackson County student has been selected as the recipient of a full-tuition, four-year scholarship as the Community Foundation of Jackson County 2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

“Anna May Huff was selected from a group of outstanding applicants from all six high schools in Jackson County and will receive full tuition to the Indiana college of her choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment,” said Sue Smith, the foundation’s vice president.

Huff is a senior at Seymour High School. She is the daughter of Barry and Yoko Huff. She is unsure where she will attend college next fall but is considering a number of Indiana colleges and universities and plans to visit college campuses within the next few weeks.

In addition to the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, the foundation administers 53 other scholarship funds. Many of them will provide scholarships to new recipients and will be awarded at high school honor events in the spring.

With the selection of Huff, there are now 37 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars from Jackson County, with the first recipient selected in 1998. During the 2018-19 academic year, there will be four Jackson County Lilly Scholars on college campuses throughout the state of Indiana.

One hundred nineteen Jackson County seniors from all six high schools in Jackson County applied for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship this year. Criteria for selection included academic achievement, school and community activities showing depth of involvement and leadership and employment showing time management and a desire to help oneself.

Additional criteria included advanced placement and honors classes taken in high school, a required essay and some evidence of financial need.

After the foundation’s scholarship committee narrowed the field, Huff’s name was submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana Inc. for the final selection of the recipient. ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

“The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Indiana students reach higher levels of education,” Smith said.

Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree. There were 142 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships awarded statewide this month.

Increasing educational attainment among Jackson County residents is an important part of the foundation’s mission to help grow better tomorrows, said Dan Davis, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

“Concern about the education levels here was a key factor when the foundation brought other partners from across the county together to establish the Jackson County Learning Center, and we remain committed to that goal,” Davis said. “It is certainly part of our guiding efforts in administering scholarship funds entrusted to the foundation.”

The foundation’s efforts to improve educational opportunities extends beyond programs focused on college, including support of the Jackson County Education Coalition’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program for 4-year-olds and the encouragement of workforce development in partnership with Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. and others.

The foundation offers endowment services, gift planning, charitable gift annuities and scholarship administration. For information or to make a donation, call 812-523-4483.