Finalists for Cass County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Named

At Logansport High School, five students received a letter in the mail declaring them finalists for 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship
Seniors Aryan Patel, Yamna Perez-Marroquin, and Madison Lupke are finalists for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. They are three of the five students selected from Logansport.
Seniors Aryan Patel, Yamna Perez-Marroquin, and Madison Lupke are finalists for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. They are three of the five students selected from Logansport.
Vasan Nomany

Scholarships tend to take lots of hard work to receive. They require things like a high GPA, letters of recommendation, community service, participation in extracurriculars and more. Given to only one student per county, the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is no different. This year, the finalists for Cass County include Drew McKaig from Pioneer High School and Elijah Beard from Lewis Cass High School, as well as five Logansport High School students: seniors Finley Gay, Kylee Langley, Madison Lupke, Aryan Patel, and Yamna Perez-Marroquin.

“I think that having this scholarship in college would help a lot with the stress,” Langley said. “Just knowing that you have the financial stability of such a big scholarship and that you don’t have to worry about paying back student loans is amazing. I think it will be nice not to have to worry about if I have enough to pay off all the debt that I just got.”

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship was made in 1998 by the Eli Lilly Foundation. The recipient of the Lilly receives a full tuition paid scholarship to any college or university in the state of Indiana, as well as $900 per year for books and required equipment. 

“I’ve applied to three colleges already,” Perez-Marroquin said. “The first one was Purdue in West Lafayette, then IU Bloomington and IU Fort Wayne.”

Veda Fagner

The Lilly Scholarship also allows students to choose any field of work to major in.

“I’m planning to go into history education,” Gay said. “I’d like to be a high school teacher because I feel like I would work best with them. Then, after a while of teaching, I’d go back to school for a master’s degree so that eventually I could become a high school principal.”

Becoming a finalist for the Lilly is difficult. Some finalists even spend multiple weeks on their applications. 

“I think it shows how dedicated and motivated you are as a student,” Langley said. “ No one who is a finalist and no one who wins has not worked hard. Everyone who has gotten this far has earned their right to be a finalist. I think that just shows how much you care about school and your education.”

When selecting the finalists all identifying information is removed from the application. This includes but is not limited to name, gender and school. The application requires three parts: a statement of goals, a statement of activities, and a personal essay. 

“For my essay, I wrote about how my anxieties and fear of the future affected me growing up,” Lupke said. “I remember always thinking that the future was uncertain, so I did not want to think about it.”

The essay prompt for this year was to write about something that has influenced the student. Some applicants wrote about times in their lives when they faced difficulties that they later learned from. 

“When I was little, I moved from Washington state to here at the beginning of the second semester of my fourth-grade year,” Gay said. “So, for the essay, I wrote about the struggles of moving so far away and finding new friends. How that experience has changed me and helped me grow into who I am and helped me find my niche of performing and film, which is actually what I wanted to do for a while.”

Each applicant has a different story behind them that influences not only what they want to do but their reasoning for doing it.

“I’ve always loved puzzles,” Perez-Marroquin said. “I’ve always loved being able to find the solution to any problem. I think that might stem from the fact that my parents have had an on-and-off relationship for a long time and I just know that there is no love there. So, growing up with me and my little brother listening to these bad toxic fights between our parents, I think that created this person in me who just never quits and who never stops trying to find the answer to whatever problem there is. I think that is one of the main reasons why I want to go into cyber security.”

With the time and dedication that this kind of scholarship takes, some students find it beneficial to have a person cheering them on.

“My mom had been my biggest supporter,” Lupke said. “She was really happy when I was a finalist. She was there the whole time. She proofread my essay, and I remember when I actually got the letter, I was reading it over and over to make sure that I wasn’t misreading it or anything. When I showed it to her, she got super excited and even teared up a little bit.”

Being a finalist on its own is already an accomplishment and a cause for celebration.

“I was sitting on the couch with my mom and my two-year-old nephew, just shaking,” Langley said. “I was so scared to open the letter, but then when I did and I saw the word congratulations, my jaw dropped. I was so excited that I even started crying.”

At the end of the day, however, most of the applicants believe that no matter the outcome, trying their hardest is the best thing to do. 

“Even if you don’t want to or even if it’s tough, just keep going,” Perez-Marroquin said. “I know a lot of people say that, but it’s true. Life is tough, and we are all presented with circumstances that we don’t like or don’t agree with, but don’t give up. Keep going, and one day your reward will be much greater. If you are thinking about signing up for a scholarship and you are worried that you might not get accepted, apply and even if you get a no, at least you know you applied rather than regretting it later. Just do it, and don’t be scared that you might get a no for an answer. Just keep doing it. Just keep trying.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to LHS Magpie
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Logansport High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to LHS Magpie
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All LHS Magpie Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *