Browns and Lippelt

Starke County


Starke County Community Foundation Holds Scholarship Reception

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Knox, Indiana – Over $28,000 and 31 scholarships were awarded to 21 students through the Starke County Community Foundation (SCCF) this year. In addition, the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship will provide $130,932 for four Lilly Scholars attending college this year. The first of these four students was awarded this scholarship in 2013, and the final student, Nicholas Sierzputowski, is the 2016 recipient of the award.

A celebration of students was held at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center on Tuesday, June 14 in Knox. The reception provided an opportunity for scholars to meet and thank the donors who made their scholarships possible.

Sarah Origer, Director of Development for the Starke County Community Foundation, hosted the annual event that honors the accomplishments of local students and acknowledges the many people who have invested in the future of Starke County through scholarships created within the Community Foundation.

Suzy Bishop, Chairperson of the SCCF Scholarship Committee, said, “The quality of students we saw this year was phenomenal. I am so happy that we can support this group of students in their pursuit of higher education, and I have no doubt that they will use the scholarship dollars to do amazing things.”

This year’s recipients include: Drew Shidler, Altman Family Scholarship; Kaden Shepard, LaVergne M. Brown and Lois L. Spenner Educational Scholarship; Alyssa Hutchinson, Helen and Ware Edgar Scholarship; Abigail Belcher, Hamblin Scholarship in Honor of Eleanor G. Hamblin, Mason Awald, Richard H. Gumz Agricultural Scholarship; Lindsay Brown, Ed Hasnerl/WKVI Scholarship; Ashley Eichelberger, Nella Kersting Memorial Scholarship; David Gagnon, Hannah Clark, and Sidnee Frasure, Knox VFW Post 748 Men’s Auxiliary Scholarship; Mason Awald and Joshua Enger, Clarence Lawrence Memorial Scholarship; Hannah Coad and Ashlie Fields, James and Carris Lucas Scholarship; Abigail Belcher, Runkle Family Scholarship; Joshua Enger, Dorothy Johnson Shei Scholarship; Sarah Coad and Jordann Frasure, Winifred J. Simpkins/Spirit of Nursing Scholarship; Abby Emigh and Madison Brown, IU-Health Starke Memorial Hospital and Medical Staff Scholarship; Ashlyn Mosher, Starke Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship; Zoe Seese, Steve L. Toth and Donna M. Toth Family Fund Scholarship; Michael Talaga, Christine and David VanVactor Scholarship; Sidnee Frasure, Jordann Frasure, Ashlyn Mosher, 1897 Charley Vorm Memorial Scholarship; Abby Emigh, Jerry Scherf Scholarship; Micah Budzinski, Forrest and Helen Whitson Scholarship; Hannah Coad and Joshua Enger, Robert O. and Doris E. Winters Scholarship; Mason Awald, Carl and Josephine Wozniak Scholarship Fund; and Nicholas Sierzputowski, 2016 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

The event also provided an opportunity for donors and recipients to receive an update on SCCF news.

Summer scholarship opportunities are available. For information, contact the Northern Indiana Community Foundation at 574-223-2227, or call Sarah Origer at the Starke County Community Foundation at 574-772-3665.

Summer Scholarships

2016 High School graduates, College and Non-traditional Student Scholarships:

Back Home Again In Indiana: Specifically for Non- traditional students. A Non-Traditional Student is defined as one who did NOT begin their college immediately upon the completion of their high school career, but rather is one who graduated from high school or received their GED and delayed the entrance into college.

The fund is designed to give preference to non-traditional students who wish to further their education and/or training as a way of enhancing their employment skills.

Qualified recipients include adult students who wish to re-enter the job market, advance in their current field, or enter the job market for the first time after hardship circumstances, such as divorce, health complications involving family members, loss of employment, or other obstacles. This scholarship also supports students who are invested in their communities as well as working towards a college degree.

Megan Elytha Jean Sahlhoff Music Scholarship: Megan loved music and to laugh.  She was part of the North Judson San Pierre class of 2006.  Megan’s positive attitude is remembered by everyone who knew and loved her. Megan’s family created this scholarship to honor Megan and support NJ-SP students who are planning a music related field of study.

Must be graduating seniors of North Judson San Pierre High School pursuing a career with a major or minor in the field of music or a music related field, (i.e. Band, Choir, Theater, etc.) show good citizenship and financial need.

Download the application for both scholarships

Application Deadline is July 8, 2016.

 Starke County Summer Scholarship app

 Starke County Summer Scholarship app

Nicholas Sierzputowski Receives Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

Nicholas Sierzputowski

A North Judson-San Pierre High School student has been named theStarke County Community Foundation 2016 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

Nicholas Sierzputowski will receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to an Indiana college of his choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.

Nicholas is the son of Steven and Kathleen Sierzputowski and plans to pursue a degree in chemistry. He is a four year member of Academic Decathlon, Academic Super Bowl, three year member of Science Olympiad and Academic Spell Bowl, and Spanish club. A member of the National Honor Society, Nicholas is also on the Blue Jay tennis team.

Nicholas was selected for the prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship from a field of fifteen applicants by the Starke County Community Foundation Scholarship Committee.

During the selection process, the applications are scored on academic performance, volunteer and paid work, school activities and honors, as well as a series of essays. Of the fifteen applicants, five finalists were selected for a final interview. These finalists were asked to write an impromptu essay and had a personal interview with the Scholarship Committee. The Committee narrowed the field to one nominee as their recommendation. Finalists’ applications are submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for the final selection of the recipient.

ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents thirty-one 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. Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree. There were 142 scholarships awarded statewide.

The students who were finalists and interviewed for the scholarship were Ashley Eichelberger, a senior at North Judson-San Pierre High School; Hannah Clark of Oregon-Davis High School; Bailee Cook who lives in Starke County and attends John Glenn High School, and Cody Valiquet who is a senior at Culver Community High School.

Starke County Community Foundation Preschool Scholarships
Application available for download

Download the application

Starke County Preschool app

Starke County Preschool app

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.