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Lilly Endowment Community Scholar – Vermillion County Named

Cale Royer has been named the recipient of the 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship in Vermillion County. He is the son of Scott and Nikki Royer and the 41st Vermillion County recipient of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

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 of undergraduate study 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 scholars 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).

Cale has been involved in numerous clubs, organizations and sporting activities as he pursued his high school education including; soccer captain, certified soccer referee, basketball, 4-H and Youth/Adult Congress Attendee, Junior Leaders president and Aquatic Science Club leader, National Merit Semifinalist, South Vermillion Academic Excellence I & II, National Honor Society, Rising Star of Indiana, Senior Class President, Voice of Democracy recipient, Optimist International Oratorical recipient, Indiana Senate Paige, church activities volunteer, Hong Kong Exchange program host, youth mentor/presenter for 4-H, Clinton Optimist Soccer League, Conservation Day, S.P.A.R.K. CLUB, the Clinton Public Library, participates in Vermillion County and Vermillion Trails Alliance clean ups and is employed.

One of Mr. Royer’s references wrote, “Cale has taken these problem-solving skills to his job on the family farm engineering devices to make the particular task more efficient. A perfect example was this year’s 4-H Electric project. This 4-Her developed a device that could and should be patented. Testing lights on a trailer can be cumbersome as each needs to be tested individually. This 4-Her designed and built an electronic test where the trailer is plugged into a small box.  This box has lights that coordinate with the trailer lights.  If the ‘box light’ lights up, then the corresponding trailer light works.  If not, then the point of troubleshooting has been determined quickly. Keep in mind I do not have a technical mind, and this is my very simplified version of this project that is amazing and blew the judge away!”

During Cale’s interview it was evident he has purposely selected classes, employment and activities that would enhance his own experiences and education for his long- and short-term goals. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, he plans to return to Vermillion County, open a design firm focusing on technologies for specialty crop production and operate a farm that will serve as a testing ground for new products while providing food for his community.

Twenty Vermillion County students applied for this year’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.  The first phase of the selection process was for each selection committee member to score the application based on five criteria. These include goal statement, academic performance, community/non-school service, special situation, and personal references. Then the committee came together and totaled the application scores from each committee member.  The students with the highest five scored applications were invited to continue the scholarship process with an interview.

The second phase of the selection process included each of the finalists from the schools being interviewed by the scholarship committee. Each committee member independently scored each applicant on a sixth criteria which was the interview.

Following the final scoring, three finalists were forwarded to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for final selection of the Vermillion County Community Foundation’s 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient.

Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the 1998-1999 school year and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling in excess of $439 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.

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