Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 16, 2013

Scholarship a fine award

— Congratulations to Howard County high school seniors Katie Brown and Ryan Smith on winning a 2013 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

Smith, of Taylor High School, plans to attend Indiana Wesleyan University and study biology and pre-med, where the scholarship will cover all tuition expenses and a $900 annual stipend.

He was preparing to search for student loan opportunities and other scholarships when he got word he had been named a Lilly scholar. Indiana Wesleyan costs about $25,000 a year. And with the scholarships he already had received, he needed to pay more than $10,000 a year out-of-pocket.

“This is such a blessing,” Smith said of the Lilly scholarship.

At Taylor, Smith is president of the Key Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the National Honor Society. He was captain of the varsity soccer team and is a member of the Robotics Team, Art Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and his church youth group.

Volunteerism appears to be a passion of his. He gives his time at a Guatemalan orphanage and the Kokomo Rescue Mission, and participates in a mentor program, vacation Bible school, children’s ministry and is an after-school tutor.

Brown, of Western High School, plans to study for a profession in radiation therapy. She has known too many people who have battled cancer. Her grandfather currently is fighting it. Two of her mother’s friends suffered from the disease; one passed away. And the father of one of her friends died of cancer, as well.

She said the Lilly scholarship will save her more than $40,000 a year in college costs.

Indiana ranks toward the bottom in terms of its percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree, and the Lilly endowment set out to change that by awarding at least one scholarship in every county in the state.

The Community Foundation of Howard County Scholarship Committee reviewed 50 applications for the Lilly scholarship this year. Chairman Glenn Grundmann said the panel was impressed with the quality of our local students.

The endowment should be applauded for its efforts. The scholarship program is a fabulous gift to the state of Indiana.

Applaud, also, these two Howard County students on their success, and wish them the very best in their academic pursuits.