ALBION — A call went to her classroom for her to come to guidance just to talk.

Little did she know, her parents, principals and school staff were waiting in a dark conference room at Central Noble Jr./Sr. High School for her to show up.

“Will she tear up? I’ve never seen her do that,” co-principal Greg Moe asked.

“I don’t know,” her mom, Nicole Winebrenner replied.

When she walked in, the lights came up, and Jocelyn Winebrenner was greeted with the four-year, full tuition Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

She did, indeed, tear up, and went in for a hug with her mom and dad Justin Winebrenner.

“I’m shocked, but I’m really relieved,” Jocelyn said. “I’m shaky, but I’m really excited.”

Jocelyn will go to Huntington University in the fall to study agribusiness on the marketing track. She’ll also continue to play softball at the collegiate level.

Looking back on her interview for the scholarship, she said she had a hunch that she was a good candidate.

“I thought I had a really good interview, but there was also another guy there who was a really good talker, and he wasn’t nervous at all, so I kind of thought it was between me and him,” she said.

But, now, Jocelyn said she can stop filling out the 10 other scholarship applications she was working on and also quit checking her email for updates on the Lilly.

“I’ve been checking my emails like every period, because they said it was coming at the beginning of December,” she said.

Though it was a special day for Jocelyn, mom Nicole had a good day Wednesday when she got the call notifying her of her daughter’s success.

“They called me and told me to keep it a secret, and I was in tears on the phone,” Nicole said. “It was a good thing she came home late last night.”

Nicole said people know how Jocelyn is — hard-working, decisive and a perfectionist.

She thought ag business would be a perfect career for Jocelyn, who has participated in 4-H.

“She does not want a desk job,” Nicole said. “She wants to get out and talk to people.”

Some of her other activities in high school include National Honor Society, CANstruction, FFA, softball, basketball and student government.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must reside in Noble County, attend an accredited high school, and achieve a high school grade point average of at least 3.80 on a 4.00 scale.

Through their applications, students demonstrate their development as well-rounded, community-minded citizens through their community service, volunteerism, extracurricular activities and work experience as well as leadership roles.

This year’s 34 applicants were initially scored for academic performance, community service and volunteerism, extracurricular activities and work experience, as well as leadership roles.

Additionally, applicants provided recommendation letters from two references and submitted three essays, which were evaluated by a community foundation committee of six Noble County citizens, who interviewed the top 10 finalists.

Names of the finalists were then submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for final selection of the recipient. ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 30 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

Those finalists not awarded the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Community Foundation of Noble County. Those students are:

  • Robert Bridegam — Central Noble Jr./Sr. High School
  • Madelyn Hosford — East Noble High School
  • Ben Jansen — East Noble High School
  • Austin Liepe- East Noble High School
  • Ian Schowe- East Noble High School
  • Emily Silver- Lakewood Park Christian School
  • Kristina Teel — West Noble High School
  • Bergen Tom — West Noble High School
  • Emma Wilkins — West Noble High School

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships are the result of a state-wide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education, according to the community foundation.

Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree. A total of 143 Lilly scholarships are awarded statewide.

Including the 23rd cohort, 4,769 full-tuition scholars have been awarded and over $405M in scholarship tuition has been provided through the LECSP since the program’s inception in 1978.

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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