Six Lake County Students Join the 26th Cohort of Lilly Endowment Community Scholars

Six Lake County Students Join the 26th Cohort of Lilly Endowment Community Scholars

 Legacy Foundation announced six Lake County, Indiana students to receive the scholarship from the prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program (LECSP). Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership. The 2022-23 recipients are:

  • Arely Aguilar-Prieto, East Chicago Central High School
  • Wisdom Chandler, Merrillville High School
  • Israel Gibson, Hobart High School
  • Maria Emilia Quiroga, Bishop Noll Institute
  • Alejandro Ramirez, River Forest High School
  • Juan Villanueva Jr., Calumet New Tech 

“The Lilly Endowment Scholars program has a tremendous impact on students. I am impressed each year by the caliber of students we have here in Lake County. These young leaders have been making positive change by serving their schools and community, and I am excited to see the accomplishments of these students for years to come,” said Jodi Kateiva, Legacy Foundation scholarship administrator.

Aguilar-Prieto will major in political science to fulfill her passion of helping children in Northwest Indiana receive quality healthcare.

To achieve her goal of becoming a therapist focusing on Black women in Northwest Indiana, Chandler will study psychology and African American studies. 

Gibson will pursue a computer science and software engineering degree with a goal of becoming a software engineer to advocate for important issues facing Lake County communities. 

Quiroga plans to study communications and marketing so she can promote the great things happening in her community. 

To accomplish his goal of making his community healthier, Ramirez will major in kinesiology and exercise science. 

Villanueva has a passion for creating opportunities for children in the City of Gary and anticipates he will major in nursing. 

Each scholarship provides 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. Students must attend an Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree. 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 Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) and Indiana Humanities.

About Legacy Foundation

Legacy Foundation is the community foundation for Lake County, Indiana. Our goal is to offer a personalized approach to giving that enables individuals, families, organizations, and businesses to create a charitable legacy. Through the generosity of a wide base of donors, Legacy Foundation has awarded nearly $60 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofit organizations and individuals since its founding in 1992. The foundation manages over $90 million in assets and is governed by a volunteer board of directors representing a diverse spectrum of business, education, and the nonprofit and public sectors. Learn more at