LAWRENCEBURG, INDIANA, DECEMBER 12, 2017 – A Dearborn County high school senior recently learned he 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 Carl Sebastian Smith.

Sebastian Smith -- Lilly Scholarship finalist - 10-17-17

Sebastian Smith

The Foundation staff and members of the board of directors and the scholarship committee notified the 2018 LECS recipient and his family during a surprise visit this week. Smith receives a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to the Indiana college of his choice along with an $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.

The LECS is the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment, Inc. initiative 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; 3) and 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, not-for-profit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

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

Smith of Aurora is the son of Evelyn Santiago and Todd Smith. He plans to attend Purdue University to study Biology and Dentistry. At Lawrenceburg High School, Smith has been very active in many clubs and groups, including: Academic Team; Spanish Club (President); Key Club; National Honor Society; Spanish Honor Society; and Student Government. Smith also has found time to work part-time at Subway during his high school years.

DCF administers the LECS Program in Dearborn County. 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 October, 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 30 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 of the recipient to DCF in early December.


The five remaining LECS finalists are recognized as 2018 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 2018 DCF scholarships to: Madison Fentress, South Dearborn High School; Jacob Herbert of Oldenburg Academy; Logan Lawrence, Lawrenceburg High School; Jamie Morman, East Central High School; and Paige Kirkey, South Dearborn High School.