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CHURUBUSCO â€” Out of 39 applicants participating in the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship selection process, Chandler Brown, a senior at Churubusco Junior-Senior High School, was awarded the honor.Chandler is the son of Doug and Larisa Brown, and the older brother of Seth.
As the endowmentâ€™s recipient, Chandler receives full tuition to the Indiana college of his choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.His college of choice â€” Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute.
â€śIt was between Rose-Hulman and Purdue,â€ť Chandler said. â€śIâ€™d been to both. Rose-Hulman just seemed a bit smaller and more intimate. I really liked the faculty and programs it offered.â€ť
Chandler plans to study chemical engineering and hopes to some day work in renewable energy.
â€śI want to make a difference,â€ť he said. â€śI want to know that I had a lasting impact.â€ť
The news was delivered to Chandler by way of a surprise announcement at Smith-Green Community Schoolsâ€™ administration building.
â€śI was told that the administration wanted to hear New Era (CHSâ€™s show choir) sing. I didnâ€™t think anything of it,â€ť Chandler said. â€śWhen we walked into the room, I saw my family and friends. It hit me then what was going on, and I was speechless.â€ť
For weeks Chandler had been watching the mail for a letter to notify him of the scholarshipâ€™s recipient.
â€śThe letter came last Saturday,â€ť he said. â€śThe only day my parents got the mail before me was the day the letter came.â€ť
Leaving the nest
Deciding on Rose-Hulman means Chandler will be more than three hours away from home. After attending a small-town high school for four years, adapting to a college environment and living away from home might prove challenging to a college freshman. However, Chandler is not wavering in his decision.
â€śI have been away from home before and I did OK,â€ť he said.
Larisa is choosing to look on the positive side of her oldest son moving out.
â€śHe had his schools narrowed down to Purdue or Rose-Hulman, so he was going to be too far away no matter what,â€ť she said. â€śWe have close friends in Terre Haute. I feel good knowing people who care about him are just minutes away.â€ť
In preparing for the interview portion of the endowmentâ€™s selection process, Chandler said his parents did all they could to make him feel at ease.
â€śThey are always supportive of whatever I do,â€ť Chandler said. â€śThey really help make things happen for me. My dad pulled people together that he knows to act as a mock interview panel. Practicing in front of them helped me get ready for the real deal.â€ť
For a parent, knowing your child is going to attend college is cause for a sigh of relief, but knowing that student loans and financial pressures will not be a factor is an element Doug is all to grateful to embrace.
â€śThis scholarship will make an incredible difference in the start of Chandlerâ€™s adult life,â€ť Doug said. â€śHe absolutely loved Rose-Hulman, but as much as he wanted to go there, he was still unsure. Rose-Hulman is a very expensive school and while they offered scholarships, the remaining debt still would have been crushing.â€ť
Larisa is eager to tout her sonâ€™s accomplishment. â€śIâ€™m the proudest mother in the world,â€ť she said. â€ťIâ€™m constantly amazed by the things he accomplishes and I canâ€™t wait to see whatâ€™s next.â€ť
To read the rest of this story, see the April 12 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.