By Rachel Moore | Editor-in-Chief
On May 11, 2016, eight Avon High School seniors won various Hendricks County Community Foundation (HCCF) competitive scholarships and were recognized at the Hendricks County Community Foundation Scholarship Banquet. The banquet had a turn out of over 200 individuals there to support the scholarship winners across Hendricks County. It was held at the Cartlidge Barn at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds; the barn was restored by a HCCF project and was brought to the fairgrounds from its previous location at the site of the Avon Hendricks Regional Health YMCA in order to maintain Hendricks County’s history.
The HCCF administers over 50 unique scholarships to Hendricks County high school seniors, including its own branch of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. This group of Avon seniors won 11 of the granted scholarships.
The Avon seniors who were recognized at the HCCF Banquet include: Spencer King (Gladys V. (Nickell) Pritchett Scholarship and Jenny Miller Memorial Scholarship), Olivia Denny (Richard H. Crosser Memorial Scholarship), Sailor Westcott (V. Lloyd Acton Leadership in Education Scholarship and Shelby Rae Smith Memorial Scholarship), Keaton Bailey (Hendricks County Retired Teachers Scholarship and Claudia Sproull Memorial Scholarship), Kaylee Kerr (Eli Welch Memorial Scholarship), Grace Langford (Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship), Rachel Moore (Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship) and Vishaal Mali* (Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship).
Scholarships recipients like Bailey and Denny said they obtained large benefits, mentally and emotionally from these awards.
“I was happy [when I found out I had won two scholarships] because who doesn’t love free money,” Bailey said. “It was also relieving because it was less financial stress I had to put on myself. It made me feel better [about myself by winning these scholarships], especially the Retired Teachers one. They had 50 applicants for it and I won the scholarship.”
Denny shared a similar viewpoint with Bailey on receiving these awards. Denny also said these scholarships will make a huge impact on her future endeavors.
“I feel really thankful and honored to be recognized by such a profound organization in the community,” Denny said. “[I am benefiting from] mostly the financial piece of things, but also the level of recognition will make me work harder in the future.”
Another double scholarship recipient, King, said that these awards validated his feelings and ambitions of pursuing a career and degree in elementary education.
“These scholarships will help me with paying for college and bringing me closer to my elementary education degree with at least a little bit less of a burden on my shoulders after graduation,” King said. “Winning these [scholarshiaps] definitely did inspire me because the fact that I won two [scholarships] kind of validated my choice of becoming a teacher and just saying I can do it and that I’m the person for the job.”
Check out an exclusive story in the print edition of The Echo on the 2016 Avon Lilly Scholars and their scholarships. The print issue comes out May 20 and will be distributed at lunch and throughout the remainder of the day. Copies can be found in the libraries and any of the main offices around the main school building and ALC.
Photos by Rachel Moore and Brandon Kimmell
*declined Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship to instead attend Northwestern University