The Unity Foundation of La Porte County is recognizing eight local high school seniors as La Porte County finalists for the prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

Two of the finalists will be selected as 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars. They will receive a full-tuition scholarship to pursue a baccalaureate degree at any accredited public or private Indiana college or university and an annual $900 book stipend. The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program has provided approximately $5 million in tuition and book stipends to 70 La Porte County students since 1998.

“Recognizing an outstanding group of students each year is a highlight for all of us at Unity. This year the review committee remarked on the high quality and extraordinary achievements of this group of finalists. We look forward to their success in their college careers, and we hope they will continue to give back to their communities,” said Shannon Walker, Unity Foundation Vice President.  

The 2023 scholarship finalists and their respective schools are:

Kayla Campbell, Michigan City High School

Mirabellah Hernandez, New Prairie High School

Sydney Hill, La Porte High School

Adrian Huizar, Michigan City High School

Elisabeth Korell, La Porte High School

Tyler Troy, La Porte High School

Paloma Valdes, Marquette Catholic High School

Elizabeth Wadle, Marquette Catholic High School


Finalists were selected based on their academic achievement, service to others, extracurricular activities and, to a lesser extent, financial need.  A committee of local volunteers reviewed the applications, not knowing the applicants’ names until after the finalists were selected.  Next, each finalist will be interviewed, and nominee and alternate names will be submitted to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc., the statewide administrator of the program, for the final selection – which will be announced by the end of December 2022. 

According to the Unity Foundation, 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.