Starke County


Starke County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Finalists

Daniel Darda
Elizabeth McEntee

Business management, animation, and biology are just a few of the challenging academic paths this year’s five Lilly Scholarship finalists plan to pursue upon graduation.

The five finalists were chosen from a field of twenty-nine applicants. Applicants must live in Starke County and attend a public Indiana High School. Of the finalists, one will be chosen as the 2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar for Starke County.

Congratulations to these outstanding students on this great achievement:

  • Daniel Darda, son of Daniel and Laura Darda, is a Knox High School student who plans to study animation.
  • Elizabeth McEntee, daughter of Alan and Connie McEntee, is a Knox High School student who plans to study neurobiology.
  • Ashley Rearden, daughter of Larry and Treasure Rearden, is a North Judson-San Pierre High School student who plans to study business management.
  • Cody Rieckhoff, son of Robert and Marcy Rieckhoff, is a Culver Community High School student who plans to study criminal justice.
  • Cassandra Waletzko, daughter of Anthony and Laura Waletzko, is a Knox High School student who is considering an education path in biology and forensic science.

Our other scholarship applications will be available by December 2017.

Ashley Rearden
Cody Rieckhoff
Cassandra Waletzko


QUESTIONS?  Contact the Northern Indiana Community Foundation scholarship coordinator at 574-223-2227 or

Starke County Community Foundation Preschool Scholarships
Application available for download

Download the application

Preschool application

Preschool application

Obtener la solicitud en español

Aplicación preescolar

Aplicación preescolar

The NICF is in the third year of a partnership with local preschools, schools and other organizations,to offer preschool scholarships for the children of Fulton, Miami and Starke Counties.

The goal of the program is to make one year of preschool education affordable to every child in our counties. Need-based scholarships are available to families of four-year-old children.

Many people underestimate the importance of preschool education. The expectations of what a child entering kindergarten should know have risen dramatically in recent years and local children who arrive for kindergarten unprepared often have difficulty catching up to their peers.

Eighty-five percent of a child’s brain growth happens by the age of five, and children who attend preschool are more likely to read at grade level, graduate from high school, and continue on to secondary education.

Rigorous studies have shown that for every dollar invested in early childhood education programs for low-income children, between $4 and $9 is returned to the community.

These financial returns come in the form of reduced special education costs, less grade repetition in schools, better job preparedness and a greater ability to meet future labor force demands, higher incomes due to higher educational attainment, fewer welfare payments, and lower criminal casualties and prison costs.

“It’s clear that investing in early childhood education leads to long-term community benefits that would be unwise to ignore,” says NICF Executive Director Jay Albright.

For more information about the scholarship program, contact To contribute, visit the Giving Connection to invest in the Preschool Scholarship Program for Starke County children.