LAWRENCEBURG, INDIANA, DECEMBER 10, 2019 – A Dearborn County high school senior learned today that he 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 Noah Blankman.

The Foundation staff and members of the board of directors and the scholarship committee notified the 2020 LECS recipient during a surprise visit to his home. Blankman 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.

Noah Blankman

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.

“Noah 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.” 

Blankman of Bright is the son of Jazmin Blankman and Keith Blankman. He plans to study Engineering, but is undecided on what Indiana college he will attend. At East Central, Blankman has been active in many clubs and groups, including: Drama Club; Concert Choir; Young Voices of Indiana; All-State Choir; Drug Free Clubs of America; East Central Dance Team (manager); and National Honor Society. Honors he’s received include: certificate of achievement in Concert Choir (junior year); ISSMA State Soloist Gold Medal (freshman, sophomore and junior years); and National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists delegate Award of Excellence (sophomore year). Blankman also found the time to complete a significant amount of volunteering in the community.

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 assign scores to each blinded application 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 totalscores during Phase I of the process, six Lilly finalists are selected to move on to Phase II of the selection 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 andwriting 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 2020 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 2020 DCF scholarships to: Megan Caudy, East Central High School; Emma Sandford, Lawrenceburg High School; Mackenzie Roth, Lawrenceburg High School; William “Ben” Hartwell, Milan High School (resident of the South Dearborn Community School Corporation Area); and Megan Heeke, South Dearborn High School.