By Chris Bavender
The Community Foundation of Boone County named two local students, including one from Zionsville, the 2020 Boone County Lilly Endowment Community Scholars.
Mahesh Gupta, who attends Zionsville Community High School, and Hillary Reed, who attends Western Boone Junior-Senior High School, will receive four-year, full-tuition scholarships to an accredited public or private nonprofit college or university in Indiana and an annual $900 stipend for required books and equipment.
Gupta plans to pursue a career as a doctor in a safety net hospital – one that provides health care for individuals, regardless of insurance status.
While at ZHS, Gupta completed a full-time internship, research project and presented at an Indiana University Medical Sciences symposium. He volunteers weekly at School on the Wheels at Dayspring Center tutoring homeless students and is the ZHS student council co-president. He also is involved with the Boone County Kiwanis Global Youth Leadership Academy and is a dance captain for Royalaires, with Zionsville Show Choirs.
Gupta said the scholarship is “a tremendous honor.”
Reed volunteers at Homewood Health Center, Activities Mentor Program and Dover Christian Church. She was selected as one of the Western Boone Junior-Senior High School representatives for Hoosier Girls State.
Reed also is a member of the Boone County Kiwanis Global Youth Leadership Academy and received multiple Mental Attitude and Most Valuable Player awards for the Western Boone girls soccer, basketball and softball teams. She plans to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant at Butler University.
“I’ve viewed being a Lilly scholar with high regard, so to now be one of those scholars means so much to me,” Reed said.
Forty applications were submitted for the Boone County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. Eight finalists took part in an interview process, and the top finalists were submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc., which selected the recipients. Scholarship recipients are nominated by a committee of countywide volunteers who evaluate each student’s community involvement, volunteerism, academic performance, work experience, extracurricular activities, awards and honors.
“We are very excited to see Mahesh and Hillary as the 2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipients,” said Jodi Gietl, president and CEO for the Community Foundation of Boone County. “The caliber of student applicants this year was extremely competitive. It is always difficult to narrow it down to two students, but these two rose to the top. We sincerely thank our committee of volunteers for their time and commitment to this application process, and to Lilly Endowment for their support of higher education in Indiana. We can’t wait to see what great things Mahesh and Hillary do in the future.”
Since the establishment of the Lilly Scholars Program in 1998, the foundation has awarded scholarships to 16 Western Boone seniors, 14 Lebanon High School seniors, 14 Zionsville Community High School seniors, four Sheridan High School seniors and one Covenant Christian senior.