Wesley Steininger is the 2024 Fulton County Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

Wesley Steininger is the 2024 Fulton County Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

The Fulton County Community Foundation is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for Fulton County – Wesley Steininger of Rochester High School. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership.

Wesley is the son of Matt and Jenny Steininger and plans to study Civil Engineering after graduation. He’s involved in Cross Country, Swimming, Track, National Honors Society, Key Club, and several other organizations in which he has received awards and honors. Throughout the years, Wesley has spent numerous hours volunteering with projects such as Shop with a Cop, Habitat for Humanity, Fulton County Pack-A-Backpack, and with his church’s youth group.

“Every year I am surprised by how involved and dedicated the finalists are to their school and community,” says Shannon Berger, NICF Scholarship Coordinator. “We wish Wesley the best of luck in school and look forward to seeing all he achieves.”

Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years. The scholarship is for full-time undergraduate students leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars may also participate in the Lilly Scholars Network (LSN), which connects both current scholars and alumni with resources and opportunities to be active leaders on their campuses and in their communities. Both the scholarship program and LSN are supported by grants from Lilly Endowment to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) and Indiana Humanities.

In determining Fulton County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholar nominees, the committee assesses a multitude of criteria including high academic performance and community involvement. After the field of applicants was narrowed down, nominees were submitted to ICI, the statewide administrator of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program, which approves the final selection of scholarship recipients.

“I am grateful for the scholarship committee, who makes these hard decisions each year knowing every one of these finalists are impressive young adults,” says Berger.

The 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship finalists include Alexa Finke, Addison Zimpleman, Tanner Reese, Annie Harsh, and Payton Moore, who will receive $1,000 scholarships from the Fulton County Community Foundation.

Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the 1998-99 school year and has supported the program every year since with grants totaling in excess of $505 million. More than 5,200 Indiana students have received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship since the program’s inception.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are: 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

The Fulton County Community Foundation works to improve the quality of life in their communities by assisting donors in fulfilling their charitable wishes forever.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Since 1997, Independent Colleges of Indiana has administered the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program statewide with funding provided by Lilly Endowment. Founded in 1948, ICI serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20 percent of its undergraduates.