Christ.  Scholarship.  Service.

Indiana College Students ‘Realizing the Dream’ with Scholarships,  Connection to Influential Educators

Several first-generation Indiana college students are getting a boost to their education funds this semester and re-connecting with influential educators who helped along the way after being named “Realizing the Dream” recipients by Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI).

Olivia Grace Markley, from Markle, Indiana, and the Huntington University Class of 2023, is a recipient of this year’s Realizing the Dream Scholarship. 

Made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the scholarship program annually recognizes first-generation college students from ICI’s 29 private, non-profit colleges and universities. Students are selected for the $3,000 award for outstanding achievement during their freshman year as they successfully advance toward completing their bachelor’s degrees. 

To honor recipients, ICI created individual videos of students describing what it means to them to be first-generation college students and thanking the influential educators they have chosen to honor. Videos can be found at icindiana.org/rtd.

“Thanks to the continued support of Lilly Endowment, we get the opportunity to hear the inspiring stories of these first-generation students and the impact local educators have had on their drive to succeed academically,” ICI President & CEO David W. Wantz said. “These scholarship awards will provide critical support for these young people who are dreaming of future success.” 

In addition to the students’ scholarship awards, the influential educators also receive $1,000 in professional development grants.

About Independent Colleges of Indiana

Independent Colleges of Indiana serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, non-profit 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.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

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.