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MCCSC 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars

MCCSC 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars

The Community Foundation of Bloomington & Monroe County is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships for Monroe County – Jake Keller and Grace McKay. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership.

“Each year, we are inspired by the accomplishments of our community’s young people, and this year is no exception, said Community Foundation President and CEO Tina Peterson. “Jake and Grace have both demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, and service. They have also found unique ways to pursue their passions and extend their learning experiences within the community. We look forward to following their academic journeys and hope one day they will choose to seek our fulfilling careers here in Monroe County or in the Indiana Uplands region.”

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. The scholarship is for undergraduate students studying 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 both current scholars and alumni 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) and Indiana Humanities.

Jake Keller is a senior at Bloomington High School South (BHSS) and the son of Amy and Joe Keller. He is the president of Dance Marathon at BHSS and a co-founder of the Community Outreach Association, a club focused on organizing volunteer opportunities on behalf of students and local nonprofits. Keller is a member of the National Honor Society, the BHSS Cross Country and Track and Field teams, and Songs of South.

With an interest in video and filmmaking, Jake has sought out opportunities to hone his production and editing skills. He has operated cameras with the Sherwood Oaks Christian Church production team and partnered with the Monroe County Community School Corporation to produce a promotional video highlighting the STEM-to-Them Mobile Lab. He also founded the Bloomington Media Club to help teens get more hands-on videomaking experiences through partnerships with local nonprofits and businesses.

“I am so grateful to have been chosen to receive this scholarship,” said Jake Keller. “The process was long, but all of the people involved were incredibly kind and helpful, which I am so appreciative of. I also want to say a special thank you to my family and friends who support me in all of my endeavors.”

Grace McKay is a senior at Bloomington High School South and the daughter of Kimberly and Joel McKay. McKay is captain of the Bloomington South Soccer team and a member of the National Honor Society, basketball team, and Unified Track and Field teams. She is also a student leader with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Best Buddies, and the DECA clubs at BHSS.

Grace has a passion for service and helping others in our community. Through involvement with Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, she has served as a middle school group leader, high school ministry leader, summer camp counselor, and Parents Night Out volunteer. Grace has also served meals at Wheeler Mission and Redbud Hills retirement community.

“Having met all the other highly qualified finalists, I feel extremely honored that the Community Foundation chose me as one of the winners this year,” said Grace McKay. “Saying ‘thank you’ doesn’t come close to describing my gratitude for the opportunity I’ve been given as a Lilly Scholar.”

Read more about the Lilly Scholarship Program here.