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Community Foundation of White County

Suzanne (Vantwoud) Snoeberger, 2011 Lilly Scholar

March, 2021

Since 1998, Indiana students in all 92 counties have had access to a generous, life-changing opportunity—the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. Ten years ago, Suzanne (Vantwoud) Snoeberger was carefully vetted and selected as White County’s 2011 Lilly Scholar, earning four years of paid tuition and required fees, plus a $900 book stipend to any accredited nonprofit Indiana college of her choosing.

“I still remember the day I got the call that I received the award. I remember being so grateful that it was going to make one more thing easier so that I could achieve my goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree,” the Lilly Scholar shared.

A Twin Lakes HS graduate, Suzy earned her baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education from Ball State University.  She also spent a study abroad semester in Germany where she student-taught at an elementary school, an invaluable experience that has influenced her to be a more understanding person and interested in different cultures.

After obtaining her degree, Suzy spent some time working as a 2nd grade teacher at Delphi Elementary School before moving her career in a different direction. She soon found herself at Purdue University as a Lab Coordinator in its Chemistry Department. Suzy chuckled, “It was surprising, because I’m not a science superstar. But I’m happy to find that so many of my skills are transferable.”

Currently, Suzy’s team is working on a therapy for SARS which is from the same virus family as COVID-19. Suzy assists the researchers in various ways— researching items, providing research materials, ordering lab supplies, and working with instruments, to name a few. Each day brings new tasks, so there’s always room to grow and learn.

Even ten years after being awarded, being a Lilly Scholar still impacts Suzy daily, serving as a constant reminder that she will always be connected to her hometown community. “It affects how I think about my career going forward, reminding myself during times of self-doubt how I earned the scholarship at that time, and how my community believed in me. It helps me to believe in myself more.” Suzy is determined to make White County proud!

To new Lilly Scholars, Suzy shares, “The community sees potential in you and they want you to succeed in whatever you do. That may be the career you have planned today, or it may be a related career that you discover while studying as a Lilly Scholar. Either way, be grateful for the opportunity and use it wisely!”

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