Jessica Koons named Ohio County’s 2017 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar


The Ohio County Community Foundation has announced the recipient of the 2017 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. Jessica Koons, member of the 2017 graduating class of Rising Sun High School, has been named the recipient the scholarship. As a Lilly Endowment Community Scholar, Jessica will receive full tuition to the Indiana College or university of her choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment. Jessica is the daughter of Shane and Darla Koons.

During her high school career, Jessica has been involved in the following school activities and sports: FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), Spanish Club, National Honor Society, Student Government (Vice President 9, 12 – Secretary 11), SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) Club, Cheerleading (all four high school years), Drama Club, Academic Club, and runs Cross Country. She represented Rising Sun High School at the Hoosier Girl Sate during her junior year and the House of Representatives. She was a Rising Sun High School Ambassador for the Swiss Wine Festival during her senior year.

Outside of school, Jessica plays the piano, is very active in her church youth group and is a tenure member of the Ohio County 4-H program.

Jessica has logged over 65 hours of volunteer hours in her community by assisting the Ohio County Animal Shelter, Navy Fall Bean Festival, Rising Sun Ohio County Parks Board, Ohio County Public Library, Purdue-Ohio County Extension Office, Rising Sun Lions Club, Ohio County Elementary – Middle School PTO Carnival, and the Rising Sun Church of Christ Jr. High Youth Group.

Jessica plans to attend the University of Indianapolis this fall to begin her studies in Public Health Education & Promotion Pre-Occupational Therapy. Jessica stated, “Thank you so very much for this unbelievable opportunity! I can’t believe it. This is a wonderful blessing and I wholeheartedly accept this scholarship. I just want the Ohio County Community Foundation to know how truly grateful I am.”

The Ohio County Community Foundation (OCCF) is proud to administer the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for Ohio County. This past fall, ten scholarship applications were submitted from the senior class of Rising Sun High School. The scholarship selection includes three processes: the application, a one page essay and a personal interview.

The applications were reviewed and scored by members of the OCCF Scholarship Selection Committee. The scores are based on the scholarship criteria which include academics, financial need, and extra-curricular activities, sports activities and employment; a one page written essay; and the applicant’s college preparation which includes the applicant’s overall potential to succeed in college.

Five finalists were selected based on their application score and were interviewed individually by members of the selection committee. After the interview process, the OCCF scholarship selection committee selected one finalist and one alternate and forwarded these nominees to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for final selection.

ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

“The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship program is the result of a state wide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education”, stated Stephanie Scott. “Indiana ranks among the lowest states in percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree. There were 142 scholarships awarded this year statewide”, stated Scott.

The Ohio County Community Foundation Staff, Board of Directors and Scholarship Selection Committee would like to congratulate Jessica Koons for being named the 2017 Ohio County Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

The Ohio County Community Foundation is located at 330 Industrial Access Drive, Rising Sun. For information concerning the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship or other scholarships administered by the Ohio County Community Foundation, please call 812-438-9401.