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Luna Tafolla Selected 2023 Lilly Scholar

The Cass County Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Luna Tafolla, a senior at Logansport High School as their 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership.

Luna is the daughter of Ramon and Telma Tafolla and embodies all those characteristics. She plans to attend Notre Dame University and study behavioral neuroscience with a minor in psychology. Her long-term plans include a career as a neurologist and more importantly to eventually serve as a role model for young women pursuing careers in STEM.

She currently has a 4.0 GPA on an unweighted 4.0 scale all while volunteering in the community and numerous extracurricular activities and leadership positions. . Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years. The scholarship is for undergraduate students studying on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars may also participate in the Lilly Scholars Network (LSN), which connects both current scholars and alumni with resources and opportunities to be active leaders on their campuses and in their communities. Both the scholarship program and LSN are supported by grants from Lilly Endowment to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) and Indiana Humanities.

Luna was selected from a pool of twenty-seven candidates and is a member of many school organizations and active in Speech, Art, and All Saints Catholic Church where she serves as an Acolyte, Lecturer, and Altar Server. She has served as Class Vice President, Diversity Club President, Spanish Club President, and Speech Team Co-Captain. A National Speech & Debate Association Academic All-American, Luna has qualified for the state speech tournament three times, is a member of LHS National Honor Society, the Outstanding Art Student at LHS Award and the Logansport Art Association’s “Best of Show Award, 2022. Luna is the 22nd recipient from Logansport High School and the 42nd Lilly Scholarship Recipient for Cass County since the program began in 1998.

Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the 1998-99 school year and has supported the program every year since with grants totaling more than $486 million. More than 5,000 Indiana students have received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship since the program’s inception. 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. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Since 1997, Independent Colleges of Indiana has administered the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program statewide with funding provided by Lilly Endowment. Founded in 1948, ICI serves as the collective voice for the state’s twenty-nine private, nonprofit colleges and universities. ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20 percent of its undergraduates.

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