By: Kathryn Vance
One in 2000+
One main concern seniors face as they plan for their upcoming college years is how they’re going to pay for school. However, for two lucky NAHS students, that will be the least of their concerns as they prepare for the upcoming events.
For seniors CJ Roberts and Matt Baumgartle, they won’t be looking back on college with thousands of dollars of student loans and debts like so many do. These students were chosen as the two winners for this year’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholars. The scholarship pays for tuition and required fees at any accredited university in the state, as well as $900 a year for books and school supplies.
Roberts explained that students initially had to fill out an application along with an essay, and once finalists were chosen, an individual interview process was conducted to choose the recipients.
“I think that they liked how personal I was, I put people at ease,” he said. “My drive for education really showed when I was talking to them.”
Roberts had an understandable initial reaction, but had to stifle his excitement due to the environment he was in.
“I wanted to scream but wouldn’t because I was at a restaurant,” he said. “Then I told my mom and she proceeded to tell everyone in the restaurant. I was almost in tears.”
While at NAHS Roberts has been very involved with various groups and activities.
“I am a four-year member of the band, and track and field team, and a three year member of winter percussion, and WNAS Radio/TV,” he said. “I’m also in the National Honor Society and I work at Papa Murphy’s.”
Roberts plans to major in biology and minor in Spanish and post secondary education at Indiana University in the fall. Roberts said that without this scholarship, he wasn’t sure how his future education would be possible.
“This scholarship means so much to my family,” he said. “In 2010 my father was in a nearly fatal car accident and lost his job. My family was devastated. We didn’t know how I was going to go to school. This scholarship changed everything. I’m getting paid to go to school.”
Roberts was one of a very select few across the state to receive this scholarship and only two were given to students of Floyd County. Twenty-nine of the last 32 Lilly Scholarships in Floyd County have come from NAHS students. Roberts said that the honor was remarkable.
“I don’t have to stress about school,” he said. “For the next four years I won’t have to pay to go to school. It’s amazing.”