Community Foundation of Howard County announces 2018 lilly endowment community scholarship recipients

Dec. 13, 2017 -- Two Howard County students have been named recipients of four-year, full-tuition scholarships as the Community Foundation of Howard County 2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars.

Jacob Ashburn, son of Amy Neiheisel and Damon Ashburn, and Katelyn Dowden, daughter of Matthew and Shannon Dowden, will receive full tuition to an accredited public or private nonprofit Indiana university or college of their choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.

Jacob, a Kokomo High School student, is co-president of the Future Business Leaders of America, where he has presented at state meetings.  He is a member of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board, Student Council and National Honor Society.  Jacob is on the junior varsity tennis team. He volunteers at his church as a PowerPoint technician and has helped to clean the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library bookmobiles. Jacob has participated in the United Way’s Day of Caring, Kokomo Urban Outreach’s Buddy Bag Program and helped with the 2016 tornado clean-up in Kokomo.

Jacob plans to attend the University of Notre Dame to study business management.

Katelyn, a Kokomo High School student, is a member of the National Honor Society, Girls’ League, Student Council, HOSA and Varsity Club.  As a volunteer, she has decorated for the Special Needs Prom, wrapped and delivered presents for the Kokomo Rescue Mission, helped with the Walk a Mile in My Shoes 5K, the Kokomo Family YMCA ‘Glo in the Mo’ 5K and provided Christmas to a family through Adopt a Family. Katelyn also volunteers through her church’s student ministry. Katelyn was named Student of the Month in her AP physics two class. She also is captain of the softball team.

Katelyn plans to attend Indiana Wesleyan University to study nursing.

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 Howard County’s criteria used in the selection process include academic achievement, financial need, potential for success, preference for first-generation college attendees, school, community and work activities, and an interview. There were 77 Howard County students who applied for the scholarship.  For 20 years Lilly Endowment has funded the Community Scholars program.

“For many students, attending the college of their choice can be out of reach,” said Glenn Grundmann, chairman of the Community Foundation of Howard County Scholarship Committee.  “The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship has given the recipients the opportunity to focus on their studies while attending college.  This program has provided 4,340 scholarships in the State of Indiana and improved the life of many students.”

After the Community Foundation of Howard County Scholarship Committee selected the six finalists, the names were submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) for the selection of recipients.  ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

The Community Foundation of Howard County recognized the accomplishments of the other four finalists with $1,000 scholarships.  They include Megan Everett, from Eastern High School, daughter of Thomas and Monica Everett; Megan Osman, from Northwestern High School, daughter of Gary and Shanan Osman; Peyton Tracy, from Taylor High School, son of Julie Tracy and Mark Tracy; and Jan Wasmuth, from Northwestern High School, daughter of James and Gwenn Wasmuth.

The Community Foundation of Howard County, Inc. was formed as a not-for-profit public charity in March 1991. The Foundation seeks to serve donors and make grants to benefit the citizens of Howard County.  For more information about the Community Foundation, contact Greg Aaron at 765-454-7298 or The Web site contains information about making gifts to endowment funds, scholarships and grantmaking. 

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