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Riley Fry, a senior at Columbia City High School, has been named the recipient of a four-year, full-tuition scholarship as the Whitley County Community Foundation 2014 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar. She will receive full tuition to the Indiana college of her choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.
Riley is the daughter of Todd Fry and Wendy and Martin Grooms of Columbia City. Riley is the oldest of four siblings, two brothers Jason and Brennan, and two sisters Cassie and Gabby.
Riley is currently undecided on which college she will attend. She plans to study PreMed, majoring in biology. During her high school career she has been an active participant on the Cheerleading squad, National Honors Society and numerous club activities. Riley is also an active volunteer at The Forklift soup kitchen and her church youth group.
â€śI am so thankful that I will be able to represent Whitley County as I go through school and I am grateful to everyone who has been there to answer my questions and guide me thus far in my academic career,â€ť said Riley. â€śI feel that being granted with this scholarship has been just as much a reward for them as for me, and it is proof that hard work pays off. I am still in disbelief and I could never express my gratitude for this chance of a lifetime.â€ť
This year 41 applicants participated in the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship selection process. The WCCF Lilly Scholarship Committee narrowed the field to seven finalist based on scholarship need, perseverance, financial need, work history, community service, school activities, and interview performance. Finalist included Bonnie Smith of Columbia City, Breanne Pickett of South Whitley, Landon Pearson of Churubusco, Makayla Wakeman of Columbia City, Michael Thompson of South Whitley, Nicole Karrer of Columbia City and Fry. One finalist and one alternate were recommended by the Community Foundationâ€™s scholarship committee and then sent to Independent Colleges of Indiana Inc. for the official selection of the recipient.
ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state. The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach high levels of education. Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelorâ€™s degree. There have been over 140 scholarships awarded statewide.
Whitley County has had a total of 33 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipients, including Riley, since the first scholarship was awarded in 1998. ###