In preparation for her day, Legacy Foundation Scholarship Administrator, Jodi Kateiva, picked up six bouquets of lilies from Hohman Floral in Hammond, Indiana, early Monday morning. By 9:30 a.m. she was walking into a gymnasium full of students at Gavit High School to award senior Chloe Flanagan a Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship (LECS). Flanagan and five other Lake County high school students, Ariana Arce, Alyssa Arreola, Patrick Hottle, Meet Patel, and Tyler Zabrecky, were awarded the four-year, full-tuition scholarship from Legacy Foundation.
“Each year I am increasingly impressed with the high caliber of students from Lake County; their passion for learning, community and self-motivation is inspiring,” said Kateiva, who made stops at each high school to surprise the recipients.
Arce is a senior at Hanover Central High School and is active in the marching band, soccer, tennis and Thespian Society. Lake Central High School senior, Arreola, plans to study genetics. She is active with the M2 Junior Dance Company, Dollars for Scholars, and W.I.S.E. Women in Science and Engineering. Flanagan plays soccer and is active in her church. With her scholarship, Flanagan hopes to study biology and return to Northwest Indiana as a teacher.
River Forest High School senior, Hottle, plans to study mechanical engineering; he is President of National Honors Society and works as an auto technician. Patel plays in the Camerata Orchestra Group at Highland High, where he is also a member of the tennis team and National Honors Society. In the future, he would like to attend medical school. Zabrecky is basketball team captain at Munster High School. He is an active volunteer in school clubs and at St. Thomas More church. After graduating from college, Zabrecky would like to own his own business in Northwest Indiana.
Altogether, Legacy Foundation received over 225 applications from 25 area high schools. Students must reside and attend high school in Lake County, Indiana, and have a grade point average of 3.25 or higher to be eligible. Legacy Foundation’s scholarship committee interviews a nominee from each high school and submits six finalists to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for final selection of the recipients as is required by the Lilly Endowment Inc. ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 30 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 Hoosier students reach higher levels of education. To date, the Lilly Endowment Scholarship Program has provided over $392 million in scholarships.