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Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne Announces 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars

Posted: December 18th 2020

December 18, 2020 – Fort Wayne, IN – The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne has named five Allen County students as the 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars. The students will receive a four year, full tuition scholarship to an Indiana college of their choice and a $900 yearly book stipend for required books and equipment. In order to be eligible, Allen County students have to demonstrate successfully overcoming an obstacle, as well as show financial need, academic performance, and community involvement and provide a personal statement of goals.

The students chosen as the 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars for Allen County are:

  • Aja Wilson from North Side High School
  • Malachi Johnson from Bishop Dwenger High School
  • Cameron Branning from New Haven High School
  • Chastity Craig from Concordia Lutheran High School
  • Serena Stayer from Leo Jr./Sr. High School

“This past year has been incredibly challenging for everyone and these young students have persevered not only through the current pandemic, but through unimaginable life altering circumstances throughout their lifetime. Their grit, determination and positive attitude has been incredibly humbling and inspirational.  I’m looking forward to following them during their academic journey and ultimately their positive impact on the world in which we live. We express our appreciation and gratitude to Lilly Endowment Inc. and Independent Colleges of Indiana for providing this very generous support,” remarked Brad Little, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne.

With the 2021 24th cohort, 4,912 full-tuition scholarships have been awarded and over $424M in scholarship tuition has been provided through the program’s inception in 1998. Out of 90 Allen County students who applied, 24 finalists were reviewed by the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Selection Committee at the Community Foundation. Finalists’ applications were then submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana for the final selection of the recipients.

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.

For nearly 100 years, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne has been a public charitable foundation serving Allen County since 1922. The Community Foundation had assets of approximately $169 million at December 31, 2019 and awarded more than $6 million in charitable grants and scholarships in that year. The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne does three things: help people make their charitable giving more impactful, connect funding to nonprofits through effective grantmaking, and provide leadership to address community needs to improve quality of life. Every day we connect people and resources to build a more vibrant community.

Due to COVID-19, the Community Foundation had the recipients’ schools surprise them with the good news. Below are pictures and links to the surprises performed by the schools which can be used for your purposes.

Aja Wilson (pictured in University of Saint Francis Sweatshirt) from North Side High School

aja wilson

Malachi Johnson from Bishop Dwenger High School – Picture coming soon

Cameron Branning from New Haven High School – Picture coming soon

Chastity Craig from Concordia Lutheran High School

Serena Stayer from Leo Jr./Sr. High School – Picture coming soon


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