Evan Steffy has been named the 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar (LECS) by the Putnam County Community Foundation. The prestigious scholarship will provide full tuition and fees for four years of attendance at any Indiana college or university. In addition, recipients receive a $900 annual stipend for required books and equipment. Evan, a senior at South Putnam High School, is the son of Jamie and Debby Steffy.
Selection criteria for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship (LECS) is based on scholastic abilities and intellectual pursuits, the capacity to lead and motivate fellow students, social commitment and extracurricular involvement, and the ability to articulate career plans that demonstrate motivation and initiative.
In speaking of Evan’s academic achievements, a counselor wrote, “I know that the committee will have several qualified young people apply for this scholarship, and I know choosing a recipient from among so many worthy candidates is a daunting task. This applicant’s resume, though, speaks for itself. They have maintained a perfect 4.000 unweighted GPA while pursuing the most rigorous course load possible at our school, and they had accumulated 27 college credits before their senior year of high school. This applicant has also managed to do all of this while excelling in the extracurricular activities in which they have chosen to participate.”
“No one works harder” without any doubt applies to this individual,” said a coach. “Because it is easy to see, perhaps this effort was the beginning of my respect for this young man. And it is true, whatever charge, athletic or academic, no matter what the group or what the task, he is the one who will work the hardest and seek to carry the heaviest load and carry that load most effectively. He is relentless and seemingly tireless as he moves forward through all aspects of life. Many students have talent, and that is the case for this individual, but few combine extraordinary talent with extraordinary effort as he does.”
During his career at South Putnam High School (SPHS), Steffy has been a leader in a variety of organizations. He has served as the president of his class each of the four years, president of the National Honor Society, twice captain of the English Academic Super Bowl Team, and as a three-year member of the Putnam County Youth Philanthropy Committee currently serving as the Youth Co-Chair.
Evan is a four-year member of FFA, having received both individual and team recognition at both State and National FFA Conventions. He has not shied away from taking a rigorous academic load taking eight AP courses and completing 27 hours of dual credit courses. Evan is also a distinguished athlete as he was named to the Western Indiana All-Conference 5 times and All-County 9 times.
Applications for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship are first reviewed by the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Selection Committee from the Putnam County Community Foundation. The local selection committee was composed of eight voting members, with two members residing within each of the geographic areas served by the four county school corporations. The LECS nomination process is highly competitive. There were twenty-four qualified applicants for the one scholarship award. The process included a blind review for the first three phases, followed by a dinner in which the selection committee met with eight semi-finalists. The process concluded with four finalists having individual interviews with the Committee.
Following the personal interviews, the Committee submitted their nominee and alternates to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for the final selection of the recipient. ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 30 regionally accredited degree-granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state which administers the scholarship program.
The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach high levels of education. The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are 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; and 3) 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, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.
Lilly Endowment Inc. has provided over $424M in grant support for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program since the program began in 1998. There have been 4,912 scholarships awarded statewide with Steffy becoming the 39th Putnam County student named as a Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.