2017 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Recipient Announced!

Published: December 9, 2016

The Montgomery County Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Cali Saunders has been named the recipient of a full-tuition, four-year scholarship as the Montgomery County Community Foundation 2017 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar. Cali will receive full tuition to the Indiana College of her choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment. She is the daughter of Brian and Carrie Saunders and is a senior at Crawfordsville High School.

In Cali’s own words, “The Lilly Endowment Scholarship is such an incredible blessing. I am so thankful to be chosen to represent our community and I will be eternally grateful for the generosity of the Lilly Endowment and Montgomery County Community Foundation. Thanks to them, I have the opportunity to study English Education in college. I am in the process of finalizing my decision for the school that will best prepare me to pour into future generations in the same way many educators have done for me. I am so thankful to my wonderful family for their support, as well as the teachers, coaches, administrators, and community members who have shaped me and guided me throughout the years. Finally, I am so thankful to God for His unfailing faithfulness and I look forward to glorifying Him in the plans He has for my life.”

A talented student both academically and athletically, Cali has been involved in a number of organizations during her time at CHS. She is currently serving as both Student Council President and Senior Class President, as well as Service Chairperson of the CHS National Honor Society Chapter. Cali is a member of Spanish Club, PEERS Positive Influence Network, and has served as a Freshman Mentor and FCA Huddle Leader. She is a four-year member of the varsity soccer and swim teams and a three-year member of the varsity softball team. As a senior, she was named a team captain for all three sports.

Last June, Cali was selected by VFW Crawfordsville Post 72 to be a Hoosier Girl’s State Delegate, where she was elected to three different offices. She has volunteered with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Hose Elementary Breakfast Club, and has served on a number of mission trips through Rock Point Church. If you’ve visited the Milligan Park Pool the past few summers, you’ve probably seen Cali working as a lifeguard there as well.


From L-R: Brian and Carrie Saunders, Cali Saunders, Sarah Storms, Kelly Taylor, and Joyce Grimble

Photo Credit: Joe Boswell

To be considered for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, students must be a resident of Montgomery County, must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.85 on a scale of 4.00 and graduate in the top 10% of their graduating class by the end of June, 2017, with a diploma from an accredited public Montgomery County High School. As one of 21 local applicants for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, Cali participated in a highly selective review process that evaluated each student’s application. The criteria used to select scholarship finalists are based on academic achievement, student activities and leadership, and two essays are also considered in the selection. Finalists are required to appear before the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Community Foundation for two interviews. Concluding the process, the scholarship committee narrowed the field of applicants to one nominee and two alternates. These finalists’ names and applications were submitted to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for final approval as is required by Lilly Endowment Inc.

ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree-granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state. The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education. Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree. There were 142 scholarships awarded statewide.