Klei is Franklin County's Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

Submitted photoLauren Klei volunteers for Special Olympics, the Klemme’s Corner United Church of Christ Fall Festival and Walnut Hills Soup Kitchen.

One Franklin County student has been named recipient of a full-tuition, four-year scholarship as the Franklin County Community Foundation 2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

"Lauren Klei will receive full tuition to an Indiana accredited public or private nonprofit college or university of her choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment," announced FCCF executive director Shelly Lunsford.

The Brookville resident is the daughter of Brian and Melissa Klei. The Franklin County High School student is the current president and three-year member of Champions Together as well as a member of the National Honor Society, Unified Track Team, MCATZ and Bleacher Bums. She is also on the tennis team, a member of Spanish Club and is a four-year member and captain of the Dance Catz.

Klei intends to pursue a career in orthodontics. “I have been fascinated with the dental world since I was a freshman in high school when I shadowed at a practice,” she said. “It was during my visit that I became very enthusiastic about the career of an orthodontist. I want my career to be something I can engross myself in, yet enjoy at the same time, and I think this career path is the perfect way to balance these.”

Two other semifinalists will receive $500 scholarships from the FCCF operational fund. Both attend Franklin County High School: Autumn McDaniel is the daughter of Chris and Kendra McDaniel, and Trevor Murray is the son of Joshua and Brandy Murray.

The three semifinalists were selected from 36 applications submitted from accredited high school seniors who are county residents. A volunteer scholarship selection committee interviewed the students. According to Lunsford, "Committee members selected are perceived as well respected and objective." Scholarship selection committee members are not members of the Franklin County Community Foundation Board of Directors or staff.

After the selection committee narrowed the field, the semifinalists’ names were submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana Inc. for selection of the recipient. ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 30 regionally-accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship program:

• to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana

• to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities

• to encourage and support the efforts of the 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.

There were 143 scholarships awarded statewide for 2017-18 adding to a total of over $372 million provided by Lilly Endowment for tuition and book stipends to date.

The executive director observed, "The Franklin County Community Foundation is proud of every high school graduate in Franklin County. Choosing a student to represent our community is a difficult process for the Lilly Scholarship Selection Committee. The FCCF scholarship committee will be meeting soon to select the recipients of more than 50 additional scholarships the foundation awards – scholarships that are created and funded by Franklin County citizens."

For more information about the Franklin County Community Foundation, visit www.franklincountyindiana.com or call 765-647-6810.

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