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Four finalists for Lilly Scholarship

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LPHS seniors Alex Ake, Jill Maudlin, Sophie Sorg, and Riya Verma have recently been announced as finalists for the prestigious Lilly Endowment Scholarship.

The Lilly Scholarship gives two students from LaPorte County a full-tuition scholarship and a stipend for book fees. Students must attend an Indiana College or University.

Ake has a strong involvement within the community. He is a member of the varsity tennis team, Intramural Volleyball, Ping Pong Club, National Honor Society, and Spell Bowl. He’s also in Quiz Bowl, Principal Advisory Council, Wind Ensemble, City Band, and Slicer Mentor Club. Outside of school, he volunteers at LaPorte Hospital and works at The Stray Dog. 

For Ake, this entire scholarship process started back when he was a freshman. He wanted to be as involved in school as possible and has maintained good grades throughout his education. This whole process for him has been stressful due to the tough competition and all the pressure that came along with applying.

Ake was reassured once he heard the good news. 

“I felt relief more than anything. It was something that I had been looking forward to applying to for a really long time,” Ake said. 

 Overall, this scholarship would completely change Ake’s future. Receiving this scholarship would allow him to pursue his goals with ease and not have to worry about the burdens of school loans. 

Maudlin is extremely involved in and out of school. She founded Slicer Mentor Club with her sister and started a homework hotline. She is in the Spell Bowl, Science Olympiad, and Academic Super Bowl. Outside of school, she volunteers at LaPorte Hospital, is involved with Indiana Youth and Government, and is a student representative for the YMCA Advocacy Board.

When Maudlin found out she was a finalist, she was beyond thrilled. She had been aiming for this scholarship since she was little.

 Maudlin usually spends months working on her applications, but this scholarship was only open for a month, so she had to drastically change her process. 

Maudlin was anxious while waiting to hear back, but she was confident with all the work she had put in during her time at LPHS. This scholarship would allow her to attend her dream school- Notre Dame- and will help her in college, future careers, and service opportunities. 

“I would like to congratulate my fellow LPHS finalists. They are all remarkably intelligent and kind, and I am lucky to consider them my friends,” Maudlin said. 

Sorg has a full plate both in and out of school. She is a member of Girls Reserve, president of National Honor Society,  plays for LaPorte Softball, and works at Thode Floral.

Just like all the other applicants, Sorg had to apply by September, had an in-person interview, and finally heard the results. This whole process was stressful for her, but she is now excited for herself and everyone else who was listed as a finalist. She is extremely joyful to experience this. 

“It felt amazing! I was so excited and called my dad right away! It felt so good that my hard work had paid off,” Sorg said.

Verma has participated in Science Olympiad, Work Ethic, National Honor Society, tennis, an online tutor, and volunteers at LaPorte Hospital. She has also conducted individual research by looking at the impact of glucose on working memory. When she takes trips to India, she helps out with Bhandaras, a type of food drive. 

 For Verma, the most stressful part of this process was the interview, but she is hopeful for how it went. Once she walked into the room, her nerves went away all because of the friendly atmosphere that the interview committee gave.

Receiving this scholarship would allow Verma to attend Butler University to pursue a career in pre-med and pre-pharmacy. In these programs, she would gain all the different experiences to help her choose the best health profession for herself. This whole opportunity has been an honor for Verma, and she is overjoyed with being a finalist. 

“Being a Lilly Finalist is something I have always dreamt of, so I was shocked and overjoyed to find out that I was a finalist for such a prestigious scholarship. It was humbling to know that my hard work, service, and character stood out to the committee,” Verma said.

LaPorte High School is extremely lucky to have such hardworking students. Good luck to our finalists!

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