LAWRENCEBURG, INDIANA, APRIL 1, 2016 – A Dearborn County high school senior recently learned she is the recipient of a prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship (LECS). The Dearborn Community Foundation (DCF) awarded the full-tuition scholarship to Lawrenceburg High School’s Madeleine Feller.

The Foundation staff and members of the board of directors and the scholarship committee notified the 2016 LECS recipient and her family during a surprise visit this week. Feller receives a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to the Indiana college of her choice along with an $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.

“The purpose of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana and to further leverage the ability of Indiana’s community foundations to enhance the quality of life of the state’s residents,” said Fred McCarter, Executive Director of DCF.

“Madeleine is fine young woman who was selected among an excellent group of applicants for the high honor of receiving the Lilly scholarship,” McCarter said. “Our community should be very proud of this honor student and the other five finalists for this prestigious award.”

Feller of Greendale is the daughter of Angela and Thomas Feller. She is undecided on what college she will attend, but she plans to major in Theatre Tech/Design-Stage Management. At LHS, Feller was very active in many clubs and groups, including: Tiger Pizazz Competition Show Choir; Lawrenceburg Shakespeare Company; Tiger Tales newspaper three years; LHS Marching Band/Concert Band; LHS Academic Team; and LHS Theatre Tech Team. Feller received many honors and awards while participating in these school activities. She also found the time to volunteer for several organizations and activities, including: Greendale Pool; Moores Hill Heritage Festival; and The Cinderella Project.

Feller also is an American Martial Arts Alliance (AMAA) Black Belt, who participates as a member of the Indiana Academy of Martial Arts Competition Team. She is an assistant instructor and is a Certified AMAA referee and center judge. She was the 2012 AMAA Nationals Point Sparring Grand Champion, an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympics Qualifier, and won numerous first-place trophies for forms and weapons competition. Feller also found some time to hold down a few jobs during her high school years, including instructing at Indiana Academy of Martial Arts and being an electronics associate at Wal-Mart Supercenter in Aurora.

DCF administers the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship (LECS) Program in Dearborn County for Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment, Inc. A five-member scholarship committee and the DCF staff annually review each application during Phase I of the scholarship process. During Phase I, committee members know applicants only by a number assigned to them. Each committee member assigns scores to each applicant based on an essay written to address a specific question. DCF assigns additional scores based on financial need, cumulative academic scores (includes SAT, ACT & GPA), and number of family dependents.

Based on the highest total scores during Phase I of the process, six Lilly finalists are selected to move on in the process. In early February, the finalists complete Phase II of the selection process, which consists of a personal interview, including a PowerPoint presentation to the scholarship committee and writing an impromptu essay on a specific topic.

The scholarship committee then nominates one student to receive the scholarship allotted to Dearborn County, based on highest cumulative scores from Phase II of the scholarship process. The Foundation board of directors approves the nominee and the nominee’s information is then sent to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), a non-profit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, non-profit, private colleges and universities in the state. The ICI Selection Committee, made up of Indiana public and private college representatives, community foundation members and graduate scholarship recipients, reviews the nomination and forwards its final selection to DCF in late March.


The five remaining LECS finalists are recognized as 2016 Dearborn Community Foundation Scholarship recipients. Each student receives a $1,000 scholarship paid directly to the student’s school. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years of secondary education at the college or university of the student’s choice. The Foundation is pleased to award the 2016 DCF scholarships to: Connor Lynch, East Central High School; Carlie Wilhelm, East Central High School; Madison Van Winkle, South Dearborn High School; Sidney Todd, Lawrenceburg High School; and Allison Wells, South Dearborn High School.