Barbara Hershberger named Rush County’s 2018 Lilly Scholar

One Rush County student has been named the recipient of a four-year, full-tuition scholarship as the Rush County Community Foundation’s 2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.  This year’s recipient is the 36th Rush County student to receive a Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.


Barbara Hershberger will receive full tuition to an Indiana college of her choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.   Barbara is one of 143 Indiana students awarded the prestigious scholarship for 2018.


Barbara is a resident of Orange Township and a senior at Rushville Consolidated High School.  She is the daughter of Menno and Eva Hershberger.  Barbara plans to attend Butler University to double major in mathematics and either elementary or secondary education, with hopes of becoming a teacher in the future.


When asked to describe what has shaped her and her future goals, Barbara first credits her parents’ decision to withdraw from the Amish church and community.  This sacrifice of a life and people they had known their entire lives made the world available to their children, and an education beyond eighth grade a reality.  Throughout the struggles of such a transition, Barbara refused to let the challenges of merging into a public school and adopting English as her primary language deter her from maximizing the world now at her fingertips.  Barbara credits Miss Sue, her Kindergarten teacher, and many other educators, for allowing her to realize and pursue her potential and embrace the differences of her childhood.  Miss Sue encouraged Barbara and her peers to transform apprehension into positive attitudes, and that lesson has carried Barbara throughout the remainder of her strong academic career and life.  As Barbara concludes, “My pursuit of a career in education was sparked and fueled by the wonderful educators throughout the entirety of my school career, and my passion is to be that spark and fuel for generations to come.”

Upon being presented the scholarship Barbara said, “I am beyond elated to receive this honor through the Community Foundation. It feels as if a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and a world of opportunity has been made available to me as I am able to focus more solely on my academic pursuit. I am so thankful for the opportunity to represent Rush County as I continue my educational journey!”

Barbara Hershberger was chosen from 17 applicants from Rush County.  Academic standing, demonstrated leadership, school involvement, community involvement, and financial need all factor in the decision of the nominating committee.  The Rush County Community Foundation Lilly Selection Committee uses a blind application review process and does not know the names or identifying demographic information of the students.  Each application is reviewed and judged separately by three members of the committee and is judged in ten separate categories.  The committee narrows the field to three nominees and forwards their recommendation 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 30 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.


The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.  To date, the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program has awarded 4,340 scholarships totaling over $372 million to Indiana students pursuing a postsecondary education at an accredited public or private nonprofit college or university in Indiana.


Meeting the philanthropic needs of Rush County since 1991, The Rush County Community Foundation, Inc., 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 the RCCF office at 117 N. Main St., Rushville, IN 46173, or call (765) 938-1177.


Pictured: Bob Bridges, 2017 RCCF Board President, Kendra Steible, Program Coordinator; Angie Bane, Administrative and Accounts Coordinator; Barbara Hershberger; Alisa Winters, Executive Director; Keith Perin, RCCF Board Member

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