LAWRENCEBURG, INDIANA, MARCH 1, 2019 – Lila Socks received the surprise of a lifetime today when the Dearborn Community Foundation, Inc. (DCF) offered her the prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship (LECS) for 2019. The South Dearborn High School senior, who was nominated as the first alternate, one of six Lilly Scholarship finalists in Dearborn County, had learned in mid-December 2018 that the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship was awarded to East Central High School’s Molly Graham of Hidden Valley Lake. What Socks didn’t know is that Graham recently declined the Lilly Scholarship to attend college out of state.
Socks, who learned the great news from DCF Executive Director Fred McCarter and Program Director Tom Snape today at her high school, 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.
“Lila was selected from an excellent group of applicants for the high honor of receiving the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship,” McCarter said. “It’s great to know that she will be attending college on a full-tuition scholarship. Our community should be very proud.”
Socks, the daughter of Max and Christa Socks, Moores Hill, has been accepted into the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University where she will study pre-law. Learning that she received the Lilly Scholarship only weeks after being told she did not win the scholarship was an extraordinary surprise.
“I feel really honored and so very grateful,” Socks said. “This is a big shock. It’s awesome! I didn’t expect this today. I’m grateful to the Dearborn Community Foundation for choosing me for this honor.”
Socks said she had moved on after originally learning she had not received the Lilly Scholarship. Learning more than two months later that she is receiving the full-tuition scholarship is an incredible gift. “This is just amazing,” she said. “I can’t believe it.”
At South Dearborn High School, Socks has been very active in many clubs and groups, including: Varsity Golf; Student Government; Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD); History Club; Champions Together; Anti-Bullying Club; STAR Mentor; Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA); National Honor Society; Think Smart Stay Safe; and Prom Committee.
Graham, the daughter of Shaun and Edward Graham III said in her decline letter that she was “honored and proud” to have been offered the LECS in Dearborn County. “The community support and recognition from the Dearborn Community Foundation was very humbling,” she wrote. “Winning the Lilly Scholarship took my college decision thought process to a new and unexpected level as well as opened many new and unanticipated options.”
Graham said her decision to decline the scholarship was a long, difficult process that took “much thought and reflection.” Knowing that another Dearborn County student would receive the full-tuition Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship did make her decision to pursue her college education outside of the State of Indiana a bit easier, she said.
“This has been a wonderful honor and experience for me and my family and I wish nothing but the best to the new Lilly recipient,” wrote Graham, who has the opportunity for full-tuition Presidential Scholarship from the University of Alabama and a Distinguished Scholar Award from Tulane University. Graham plans to study pre-med.
The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship 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. DCF locally administers the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship in Dearborn County.