LAWRENCEBURG, INDIANA, DECEMBER 13, 2018 – A Dearborn County high school senior learned yesterday afternoon that she is the recipient of a prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship (LECS). The Dearborn Community Foundation (DCF) awarded the full-tuition scholarship to East Central High School’s Molly Graham.

Molly Graham

The Foundation staff and members of the board of directors and the scholarship committee notified the 2019 LECS recipient and her family during a surprise visit this week. Graham 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 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.

“Molly is fine young woman 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.”

Graham of Hidden Valley Lake is the daughter of Shaun and Edward Graham III. She plans to attend Indiana University or the University of Notre Dame to study Pre-Med. At East Central High School, Graham has been very active in many clubs and groups, including: Family, Careers and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA); English Academic Team; Dearborn County 4-H; Book Club; National Honor Society; National Society of High School Scholars; Spanish Club; DCF Youth Council; and Student Ambassadors.

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 2019 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 2019 DCF scholarships to: Lila Socks, South Dearborn High School; Maddie Faller, East Central High School; Jacob Frank, Lawrenceburg High School; Madison Jones, South Dearborn High School; and Ashley Terrill, Lawrenceburg High School.