Unity Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for La Porte County—Kayla Campbell and Paloma Valdes.

Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character and leadership.

Kayla Campbell, a Michigan City High School Senior, has demonstrated outstanding leadership in her school and community through participation in a variety of extracurricular and volunteer activities including: American Legion Auxiliary Hoosier Girls State, Helping Hands Club, Student Council, Teen Arts Council, Trio and more. Campbell wants to ignite and inspire youth, and use her future career platform as a broadcast journalist to make a lasting and positive impact in the world. Campbell has excelled academically, including in advanced placement, dual credit and honors courses, and is ranked at the top of her class.

Paloma Valdes, a Marquette Catholic High School Senior, has balanced her academics with leadership roles in a number of extra‐curricular activities including: Art Club, Drama Club, Indiana Academic Super Bowl, Quiz Bowl, National Honor Society, Varsity Tennis and more. Valdes is deeply involved in her community and uses her time, talent and opportunities given to improve the quality of life of others. Her future career goals include being a part of the solution in making the technology industry more inclusive, and to leverage technology to improve societal issues in education, healthcare and the environment. She is ranked at the top of her class and has excelled in her coursework, which includes advanced placement, dual credit and honors courses.

Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full‐time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars may also participate in the Lilly Scholars Network (LSN), which connects scholars with resources and opportunities to be active leaders on their campuses and in their communities. Both the scholarship program and LSN are supported by grants from Lilly Endowment to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI).

“Unity’s review committee noted the impressive academic and personal accomplishments of each of this year’s eight finalists. Kayla and Paloma stood out for their outstanding academic achievements, service to others and innovative leadership roles,” said Shannon Walker, Unity Foundation Vice President.

Unity Foundation received approximately 70 applications for the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship from students throughout the county. Applicants were scored 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 selecting finalists. The committee interviewed each of the eight finalists and submitted their nominations to ICI, the statewide administrator of the program, for the final selection.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program has provided approximately $5 million in tuition and book stipends to 70 La Porte County students since 1998. The primary purposes of the 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.

The six remaining finalists will each receive a $2,000 scholarship via the Ludington Scholarship in the Unity Foundation and are eligible to apply for dozens of other scholarships administered by Unity Foundation beginning January 1, 2023. In addition to graduating high school seniors and continuing college students, many scholarship opportunities exist for adults looking to obtain a professional certificate, or associate, undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree. More information about these scholarship opportunities is available on Unity’s website, uflc.net.