SYRACUSE — This will likely be a Christmas Isaiah Metcalf and his family won’t soon forget.
Metcalf, a senior student at Wawasee High School, thought he was simply attending a Warrior Leadership Committee meeting Thursday morning, Dec. 14, in the lecture room at the high school. But then Suzie Light, executive director of the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, walked in the room with some of her staff members to make a presentation.
Metcalf was stunned to hear he had been awarded a four-year, full-tuition college scholarship by being chosen as a 2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar. Visibly moved, Metcalf immediately walked across the room to hug his parents, Angie and Daryl Metcalf, who had been asked to come to the high school but were not told specifically why.
“I’m over the moon and elated, I really don’t have any words right now,” Isaiah said just a few minutes after receiving the scholarship. “I can’t put into words how this feels,” said Isaiah’s father, Daryl, adding his son had just been accepted Wednesday evening to attend the University of Notre Dame. “This makes his dream a reality,” Daryl said.
Isaiah, ranked number two in the senior class at the time of his scholarship application, was chosen based on extensive community service and other factors. He has volunteered for eight different community and charitable organizations and during the summer worked 40 hours per week at the Fisherman Cove Resort in North Webster. He also had a part-time job as a swim instructor.
His school activities have included varsity swimming, Warrior Leadership Committee, student council and National Honor Society. He is also involved in his church youth group, PRO Swim Club and Tri-Level Student Leadership Institute.
In Kosciusko County, the Community Foundation recommends recipients of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship to Independent Colleges of Indiana for final selection. The local process is “blind” in that committee members do not have access to student names when reviewing the applications. Selection criteria includes academic excellence, community service, extracurricular involvement, work experience, references and essay response. Metcalf’s references described him as motivated, dependable and a respected role model and leader.
He plans to study pre-medicine at Notre Dame.