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 Driesbach Earns Lilly Scholarship

March 25, 2009 - Two Rush County students have been named recipients of the Rush County Community Foundation’s 2009 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships. These two students are the 26th and 27th Rush County students to receive a Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

Brittany Driesbach and Jessica Cole will receive full tuition, required fees, and a special allocation of up to $800 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 Indiana public or private college or university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Brittany is a Carthage resident and a senior at Knightstown High School. She is the daughter of Gary and Terri Driesbach. She plans to attend Indiana University in Bloomington and pursue a career as an optometrist. She has chosen this field because she has always been intrigued by how glasses and contacts affect someone’s vision. Her six-month-old cousin had an accident that left him blind and she sees that as a horrible fate, especially for a baby. She hopes to help preserve sight for other people, in honor of him, because everyone deserves to see well. After graduating from college she hopes to return to the Rush/Henry County area because she would love for her children to experience the beauty and splendor of the area. Upon receiving the scholarship she said quietly, “Wow! Thank you! I am overwhelmed with relief and gratitude. I am excited to know that I can definitely go to IU now.”

Cole is a resident of Center Township and a senior at Rushville Consolidated High School. She is the daughter of Robert and Michelle Cole. She plans to attend Indiana University in Bloomington to earn a major in biology with a social science minor. Her long-term goal is to attend dental school and specialize in orthodontics.

She has chosen this field because she has always enjoyed going to the dentist and been curious about how the human mouth works. She’s always wanted to make a difference in the lives of people and feels that by giving people beautiful smiles she can make a difference. After graduating from college she hopes to start her own orthodontic practice in Rush County. Because this is where she was born and raised, she wants to give back to Rush County. Upon receiving the scholarship she said, “I can’t believe this. This is overwhelming. With this scholarship I have the opportunity to accomplish my dreams and goals”.

Both students will graduate this spring and have been leaders throughout their high school careers. They were chosen from over 15 applicants from Rush County. Academic standing, school involvement and community involvement all play a key in the decision of the nominating committee. This is a blind application review process as committee members do not know the names of the students. Each application is reviewed and judged separately by three members of the committee and is judged in 10 separate categories. Their recommendation is then forwarded to the Board of Directors of the Rush County Community Foundation for final recommendation and submission to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for the selection of the recipients.

ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education. Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree. There were 216 scholarships awarded statewide.

In its 18th year of meeting the philanthropic needs of Rush County, The Rush County Community Foundation, Inc., the Foundation of Rush County’s future, is a nonprofit public charity established to serve donors, award grants and scholarships, and provide leadership to enrich and enhance the quality of life in Rush County, Indiana, not only today, but for our future generations. For more information please visit or contact Garry Cooley, Executive Director, or Terry VanNatta, Assistant Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, at their office at 117 N. Main St., Rushville, IN 46173, or call them at (765) 938-1177.


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