- Leslie Goss
2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship
Updated: Dec 22, 2021
The Community Foundation of White County is pleased to announce the recipient of
the 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for White County – Mackenzie
O’Brien of Frontier High School.
Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement,
academic achievement, character, and leadership.
Mackenzie is the daughter of Dustin O’Brien and Bobbi Kain of Chalmers and plans to
attend either Indiana University or Purdue University to pursue a degree in Health and
Other finalists for this year’s scholarship were Kevin Aragon, Verania Del Real, Grace
Marocco, Griffin McAtee, Avery Pritts, Justin Walder.
“Mackenzie’s dedication to her community and education is exemplary. She has a
strong commitment to her future that is rooted in her love for her family, teachers,
doctors who have encouraged and challenged her, and a community that has
supported her. In everything she does, she seeks to honor that legacy,” said Leslie
Wineland Goss, executive director of the Community Foundation.
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 of undergraduate study on a full-time basis 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 scholars 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).
In her application, Mackenzie commented, “The Lilly Endowment Community
Scholarship would help me achieve my goals in more ways than imaginable. I hope to
become the first person in my family to attend college, and to dedicate my life to
saving the lives of others.”
Mackenzie currently serves as President for National Honors Society, Student
Council, and Forensics Speech and Debate. In these leadership positions, Mackenzie
also seeks ways to engage the community, such as creating a prom dress drive to
provide free dresses for students on their special day, a project she is working to
expand across the county. She also serves on committees for the Sunshine Society
and National Technical Honor Society. And just for fun, Mackenzie learned to play the
flute and joined Pep Band for the last two years.
Wherever Mackenzie is spending her time, she typically is using her efforts to make
positive changes, such as ringing bells for Salvation Army the last four winters. She
also interned for White County United Way last summer, serves on its Junior Board
where she is the Head of the Relay for Life Project, and volunteers with the clothing
pantry. “If there’s something going on at school or in the community, and I can help,
I’m there.” While incredibly passionate and ambitious, Mackenzie serves with humility
The White County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship selection committee
included representatives from each school district, in addition to a representative of
the Community Foundation of White County. The names of all applicants remain
anonymous until introduced at the final interviews. Out of 20 eligible applicants, six
finalists were selected for personal interviews. Considerations for selection in White
County include financial need, community, school and work involvement, a written
essay, three recommendation letters, and a B- or better grade average. Nominee
recommendations of the Community Foundation of White County scholarship
committee then were submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for final
selection of the recipients.
“We are so thankful for the continued support from Lilly Endowment. In White County,
we hope to select recipients for whom this scholarship could be truly life changing.”
said Ruth Davis, chair of the nominating committee. “Since 1998, The Community
Foundation of White County has been privileged to award this scholarship to 36
Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the
1998-1999 school year and has supported the program every year since with tuition
grants totaling in excess of $439 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 Community Foundation of White County has been serving the area since 1998,
seeking to strengthen and transform our White County community by fostering
charitable giving, philanthropic aspirations, and leadership. The Lilly Scholarship is
just one of many services offered to donors, area nonprofits, and the community at
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.
Pictured with Mackenzie are CFWC's Lucy Dold and Leslie Goss, who were delighted to surprise Mackenzie with this announcement!