Lilly Endowment Community Scholars Named

Walter Kern and Ritika Mehta. Class of 2017 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship winners.Walter Kern and Ritika Mehta. Class of 2017 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship winners.

Muncie, IN—The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc., has selected the recipients of the Class of 2017 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships, an award that grants full tuition to any accredited public or private college or university in Indiana. The Lilly Scholarship also covers fees and provides an annual stipend for required books and equipment.

The recipients of this year’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship are Walter Kern, Yorktown High School, and Ritika Mehta, The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities. They were chosen out of an applicant pool of 76 impressive candidates from high schools across Delaware County.

“In Delaware County, The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is awarded to students who show leadership based on their involvement, achievement, and academic ability,” said Kelly K. Shrock, President of The Community Foundation. “Walter and Ritika are very deserving of this award.  In addition to having the financial benefits of the scholarship, being named a Lilly Scholar is an honor these students will carry on to the college of their choice and for the rest of their lives.”

Walter Kern, a senior at Yorktown High School, plans to study applied physics and applied mathematics at Purdue University. Walter is the son of Gary and Kelli Kern. He has a 4.0 grade point average and is ranked first in his class. Walter has always been an academic achiever but attributes his involvement at Yorktown High School to participation in student government where he has served as class treasurer since his sophomore year. Also, he is a varsity member of the cross country and track teams, holds a leadership position in DECA, is first chair trumpet in concert and marching band, and is involved in many other student organizations.  Walter has also given time to a variety of community organizations as a volunteer.

Ritika Mehta, a senior at The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities plans to study finance and marketing. Ritika is the daughter of Rajeev and Rashmi Mehta. She has a 4.0 grade point average. Ritika is a volunteer and youth coordinator for the South Asian Muncie Association (SAMA). For several years she has organized activities for younger children and choreographed and performed dances for the annual SAMA event. This has been a compliment to her practice of Kathak, Indian Classical Dance, which she has done for six years. Ritika is also a member of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), Model United Nations, Academic Super Bowl, Environmental Club and Student Parliament. She has won multiple awards in the Science Olympiad and in essay contests.

In selecting Delaware County Lilly Endowment Community Scholars, consideration is given to student activities and achievements, community and civic service, academic ability and the potential for leadership.  After the field of school nominees was narrowed to two, the finalists’ names were submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for approval.

ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state. The scholarships are a result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education.