Lilly Scholars Organize Give Back INitiative to Pay it Forward

Each year since 1998, Lilly Endowment has awarded 4- year, full-tuition Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships to selected Indiana high school seniors enabling more than 4,000 students from all 92 counties to pursue higher education in Indiana. Now, both current and alumni scholars are joining forces to make an impact in communities throughout Indiana and beyond. Grateful for the incredible scholarships they were awarded, recipients of this prestigious award are banding together to pay it forward through a month-long statewide service event – the Lilly Scholars Network Give Back INitiative.

The Lilly Scholars Network, a community of Lilly Scholars, has engaged scholars in various service, social and professional development events during the past ten years. This year, the Lilly Scholars Network is mobilizing Lilly Scholars to take the lead and make an even greater impact in their local communities.

“As Lilly scholars we are incredibly fortunate to have received such a generous gift, and we are charged with the opportunity to serve as leaders. The Give Back INitiative is our chance to bring people together to serve in our local communities,” said Seth Winter, President of the Lilly Scholars Network, who received his scholarship from Marion County in 1998 and went on to earn his degree from IU Bloomington. “We’re excited to be able to plug in and help organizations that are already working hard to improve our communities for everyone.”

During the month of April, current and alumni Lilly scholars will roll up their sleeves to work on volunteer projects around their Hoosier home state and internationally. The Lilly Scholars Network Give Back IN itiative is mobilzing scholars to serve as Project Leads and organize a community service project in an Indiana county of their choosing. In its first year, the Give Back IN itiative will host projects in ten Indiana counties, including projects such as:

• Repainting a community swimming pool in preparation for summer fun

• Participating in a community run/walk to raise funds for nonprofits

• Aiding in home improvement projects for the elderly, disabled and victims of circumstances!

• Hosting a school supply drive !

• Assembling furniture at a domestic violence shelter

• Assisting with painting and building updates and building a social media campaign for a local park

“With great reward comes great responsibility,” said Bryana Schreiber, Lilly Scholars Network VP of Service and lead coordinator for the Give Back IN itiative, who received her scholarship in Posey County in 2004 and earned her degree at Butler University.

“The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship has had a tremendous impact on our lives. I believe I speak for all of our scholars in saying that we are forever grateful to our communities and Lilly Endowment for believing and investing in us. I helped start the Lilly Scholars Network back in 2006 and have been involved ever since as this organization is close to my heart. I am excited to be part of a network that is committed to empowering our bright and talented community of scholars to pay it forward.”

Lilly scholars who signed up as Project Leads have organized service projects in the following Indiana counties: Allen, Greene, Elkhart, Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Posey, Ripley, and Washington. Beyond Indiana, some scholars are serving communities throughout the United States and overseas.

“We have two alumni scholars who are also Fulbright scholars making an impact abroad,” said Christine Connell, assistant coordinator for the Give Back IN itiative, who received her award from Allen County in 2012 and went on to receive her degree from Butler University. “One founded a nonprofit organization in Nicaragua that aims to radically improve the quality of life of coffee farming families through integrative education and by providing the necessary tools to access fair markets. The other is completing her Fulbright Scholarship in Poland. We look forward to hearing about the incredible impact of their volunteer efforts beyond our borders.”

Lilly Scholars are also activating their families, friends and other community members to volunteer alongside them to serve nonprofit organizations in communities around the state of Indiana during the month of April 2017. Those interested in the Lilly Scholars Network Give Back INitiative can visit to learn more and register.

For updates on the LSN Give Back INitiative throughout the month of April, visit or follow us on Twitter at @LillyScholars.

For media only: To cover an event in your community, please contact Bryana Schreiber at 214-499-0836 or


The Lilly Scholars Network (LSN) is a community of Lilly Endowment Community scholars committed to engaging in community service, inspiring future leaders and developing lasting personal connections. The Lilly Scholars Network was started by Lilly scholars from Butler University and Wabash College in the fall of 2006 with two main objectives: giving back to the community and creating a sustainable network of Lilly Endowment Community Scholars from around the state of Indiana. In 2012 the LSN Alumni Board was established to provide support for existing collegiate chapters and expand the reach of the organization. Today, we have a number of active collegiate chapters and bring alumni and current scholars together to engage in service, social and professional development opportunities. For more information, visit and


The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program (LECSP) is designed to raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana and increase awareness of the potential of Indiana’s community foundations to improve the quality of life of the state’s residents. Begun in 1998, the program offers four-year, full-tuition scholarships to Indiana students who intend to work toward a baccalaureate degree at any accredited public or private college or university in Indiana. Since the scholarship program began, Lilly Endowment has awarded more than 4,000 scholarships.

The program is administered statewide by Independent Colleges of Indiana and locally by the community foundations in each of Indiana’s 92 counties. Persons interested in information about the program should first contact their local community foundation. High school guidance counselors generally can also provide information. To learn more, visit or contact Mary Dickerson,

Director of Programs at Independent Colleges of Indiana at


Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.