SOUTH WHITLEY — Ryan Brown scored a huge one Wednesday night when he stepped onto the Whitko High School basketball court.
Ryan, a senior and the son of Neal and Katie Brown, learned he is the second recipient of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for Kosciusko County in a surprise announcement by Kosciusko County Community Foundation.
The varsity basketball player was lured into coming onto the floor prior to the varsity game through a tunnel where he was greeted by a line of cheering students who tossed confetti.
Foundation CEO Stephanie Overbey made the announcement under dimmed lights at half court before the spotlight shifted to Brown, who found himself near center court.
The scholarship covers the cost of tuition for four years at any Indiana college of university.
Brown, of South Whitley, joins Regan Brouwer of Winona Lake as the 2022 recipients.
Regan and Ryan were selected from a competitive pool of candidates and were chosen based on their exceptional academic achievement, community involvement, character and leadership.
Brown plans to attend Purdue University where he will study Agricultural Science. He is ranked in the top 10 of his graduating class and is an accomplished athlete, playing varsity baseball and basketball.
He is interested in crop production science and plans to earn his degree in agronomy in order to help farmers maximize their yield potentials. Brown’s teachers describe him as a kind, bright student and hard worker with a respectful attitude.
He is also very involved with FFA at Whitko and was recently named ‘Top Soil Judger of the Year’ by Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District. He is a regular volunteer with the National Honor Society, 4-H and Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, and has worked as a farmhand and laborer.
Regan Brouwer is the daughter of Jennifer Brouwer and the late Brad Brouwer. She is a senior at Warsaw Community High School and plans to attend the University of Notre Dame or Indiana University to study Environmental Science.
“The Scholarship Committee considered 64 stellar candidates before recommending the two finalists. It was heartwarming and uplifting to see the substantial impact these young people are having in our community.” said the scholarship committee chairperson in a statement. The scholarship selection committee is made up of anonymous members from across the county.
Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides full tuition, fees and an allocation for books and equipment for four years of full-time undergraduate study at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university.
The selection process for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship begins at the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, where committee members review the applications without access to student names. The criteria evaluated by the committee members include academic excellence, community service, extracurricular involvement, work experience, references, and essay response. Once the committee selects the finalists, the Community Foundation submits these applicants to the Independent College of Indiana (ICI), the statewide administrator of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program, for the final selection of recipients.