Senior Jackson Bledsoe (’24) has been named a Lilly Endowment Community Scholar recipient. Jackson is 1 of 143 Indiana scholars who were chosen from 92 Indiana counties. He is one of 6 students in University High School history to be awarded the Lilly scholarship.
To be selected as a Lilly scholar, students must first be nominated by their school while meeting certain criteria, such as planning to pursue a full-time baccalaureate course in the fall of 2024 at a public or private college in Indiana, demonstrating motivation of a high level of responsibility through school, family, or extracurricular activities, and more.
Reflecting on the moment he learned of his achievement, Jackson said, “After Morning Meeting, I was on my way to Finite when Dr. Vesper stopped me and told me that Whitney needs me because there is an issue with one of my college applications. I was nervous at first, but when I walked into the College Counseling room and saw all the teachers, then my family, and then the people from CICF. I put it together as to why everyone was there.”
See his reaction in the video below:
Jackson’s success was not just a solitary achievement but a collective effort. He expresses gratitude to key players Nancy Webster, former founding Director of Admissions, Whitney Matter, Director of College Counseling, Mike Syrek, Director of Technology, and his family: mom, dad, older sister, and younger brother. Acknowledging the challenge of singling out a few individuals from the supportive network, Jackson emphasizes that all UHS teachers have played a role in guiding him to this point in his journey.
The scholarship pays for full tuition, required fees, and a book stipend for four years at any public or private Indiana four-year college or university. With funding from the scholarship, Jackson has three college options at this moment: Depauw University, Indiana Wesleyan University, and Earlham College. He plans on studying media, specializing in journalism.
The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is designed to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana, increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities and encourage efforts of Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with state leaders to improve quality of life in Indiana.