A Jackson County student has been selected as the recipient of a full-tuition, four-year scholarship as the Community Foundation of Jackson County 2017 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

Madison Reynolds said she felt grateful by her selection.

“It’s really humbling, in all honesty,” the Crothersville High School senior said. “It’s great that anybody can get it, even from a small place like Crothersville.”

Reynolds was selected from a group of outstanding applicants from all six high schools in Jackson County and will receive full tuition to the Indiana college of her choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment, said Sue Smith, the foundation’s vice president.

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Reynolds is the daughter of Jeffrey and Kistian Reynolds. Madison is unsure where she will attend college next fall but currently is considering Indiana University and IUPUI.

“I’m thinking psychology or early childhood education,” Reynolds said. “I studied some of it getting ready for college, and helping people with disabilities seems interesting to me. I help teach in the kindergarten in the morning. It’s really neat down there.”

With the selection of Reynolds, there are now 36 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars from Jackson County, with the first recipient selected in 1998. During the 2017-18 academic year, there will be four Jackson County Lilly Scholars on college campuses throughout the state.

One hundred twenty-three Jackson County seniors from all six high schools applied for the scholarship this year. Criteria for selection included academic achievement, school and community activities showing depth of involvement and leadership and employment showing time management and a desire to help oneself.

Additional criteria included advanced placement and honors classes taken in high school, a required essay and some evidence of financial need.

After the foundation’s scholarship committee narrowed the field, Reynolds’ name was submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana Inc. for the final selection of the recipient. ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 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 Indiana students reach higher levels of education,” Smith said.

Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents older than 25 with a bachelor’s degree. There were 142 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships awarded statewide this month.

Increasing educational attainment among Jackson County residents is an important part of the foundation’s mission to help grow better tomorrows, said Dan Davis, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

“Concern about the education levels here was a key factor when the foundation brought other partners from across the county together to establish the Jackson County Learning Center, and we remain committed to that goal,” Davis said. “It is certainly part of our guiding efforts in administering scholarship funds entrusted to the foundation.”

The foundation’s efforts to improve educational opportunities extends beyond programs focused on college, including support of the Jackson County Education Coalition’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program for 4-year-olds and the encouragement of workforce development in partnership with Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. and others.

The foundation offers endowment services, gift planning, charitable gift annuities and scholarship administration. For information or to make a donation, call 812-523-4483.

Previous Lilly Scholars

Previous Jackson County Lilly Endowment Community Scholars

1998;Stephanie Mellenbruch;Brownstown Central High School

1999;Allison Klinge;Seymour High School

1999;Jacob Henley;Seymour High School

2000;Josh Brewster;Medora High School

2000;Marc Fountain;Brownstown Central High School

2001;Jami Bennett;Seymour High School

2001;Adam Peters;Brownstown Central High School

2001;Nathan Press;Seymour High School

2002;Jason Fish;Seymour High School

2002;Evan Hill;Medora High School

2002;Rachael Voss;Seymour High School

2003;Kyle Minton;Crothersville High School

2003;Abby Peters;Brownstown Central High School

2003;Jordan Raynor;Seymour High School

2004;Samuel Durham;Brownstown Central High School

2004;Caitlin Fife;Seymour High School

2004;Tara Smith;Crothersville High School

2005;Lauren Carr;Seymour High School

2005;Kerry Hackman;Brownstown Central High School

2006;Karissa Glenn;Crothersville High School

2006;Jordyn Stuart;Seymour High School

2007;Elizabeth Sunbury;Seymour High School

2007;Jaclyn Tormoehlen;Brownstown Central High School

2008;Amy Gibson;Seymour High School

2008;Caitlin Thomas;Brownstown Central High School

2009;Joseph Rust;Seymour High School

2009;Samuel Borcherding;Seymour High School

2010;Andrew Brock;Seymour High School

2010;Cameron Wiethoff;Seymour High School

2011;Braden Sciarra;Seymour High School

2012;Luke Gallion;Brownstown Central High School

2013;Jacquelyn Hackman;Trinity Lutheran High School

2014;Robert Levi Bays II;Brownstown Central High School

2015;Andrew Rudge;Seymour High School

2016;Luke Onken;Trinity Lutheran High School

2017;Madison Reynolds;Crothersville High School

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.