Colten Adams has been named the recipient of the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship in Benton County.
Lilly Endowment Community Scholars (LECS) are known for their school and community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership. Colten is the son of Jason and Mame Adams from Otterbein, Indiana.
The scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books & equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university.
Colten plans to attend either University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, or Purdue University to pursue an advanced degree in Business. Colten ranks 3rd in his class with a GPA of 4.317, is an Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar with Distinction, a 2021 Rising Star of Indiana, and awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2022. Colten wrote, “I have a strong moral compass rooted in faith, honesty, and integrity which will guide me as I navigate the potential challenges in this (business) profession”.
While attending Benton Central Jr./Sr. High School, Colten has been involved in numerous clubs, organizations and sporting activities, including: Varsity Players, Varsity Speech and Debate, Math Academic Team, 4-H, National Honor Society, Dance Marathon, Helping Hands, cross country, track and others. He has also served as Senior Class President and Vice President of his class for 3 years. Colten has held several offices in the 4-H program, volunteered his time through CAAP, Otterbein United Methodist Church, and Niches Land Trust.
A reference stated on Colten’s application, “Adept at organizing, planning, and delegating, this student has the ability to motivate and inspire classmates. These leadership skills and qualities will certainly serve this student well as a collegiate student and beyond. This student values and personifies philanthropy by serving the youth and organizations within our school and community. I am confident that this student will be a responsible, deserving, and exceptional recipient of your scholarship award”.
The Foundation received 18 applications from local students which were very competitive and carefully evaluated by the community foundation’s volunteer scholarship committee. Consideration was given to academic achievement, school and community involvement, work experience, and written communication. Following the final scoring, nominees were submitted to the statewide administrator of the LECS Program, Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), which approves the final selection of scholarship recipients. We wish all the applicants the very best as they pursue their educational dreams.
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 $486 million. More than 5,000 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 Benton Community Foundation was established in 2003 with the mission to enhance community through civic leadership, philanthropy, and charitable economic development initiatives in Benton County, Indiana. It is proud to implement the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program.
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.
For more information on the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship or other programs within Benton Community Foundation, please contact the Community Foundation at (765) 884-8022.