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LAWRENCEBURG, INDIANA, MARCH 31, 2015 – A Dearborn County high school senior recently learned he is the recipient of a prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship (LECS). The Dearborn Community Foundation (DCF) awarded the full-tuition scholarship to East Central High School’s Eric Harrington.

The Foundation staff and members of the board of directors and the scholarship committee notified the 2015 LECS recipient and his family during a surprise visit on Monday evening, March 30. Harrington receives a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to the Indiana college of his choice along with an $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment. 

“The purpose of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana and to further leverage the ability of Indiana’s community foundations to enhance the quality of life of the state’s residents,” said Fred McCarter, Executive Director of DCF.

“Eric is fine young man who was selected among an excellent group of applicants for the high honor of receiving the Lilly scholarship,” McCarter said. “Our community should be very proud of this honor student and the other five finalists for this prestigious award.” 

Harrington of Hidden Valley Lake is the son of Tammy Harrington and Alan Harrington. He plans to attend Indiana University in Bloomington to major in Biology and English. At ECHS, Harrington served on student council all four years in high school and is currently student body president. He was a member of the National Honor Society his junior and senior years in high school. He also participated all four years of high school on the Academic Team, ECHS Book Club, French Club, and the Teen Advisory Group. Harrington also served as a TOPs Mentor leader, a food drive coordinator along with volunteering for City Gospel Mission homeless shelter and the Special Olympics. He also found time to hold down a summer job.

DCF administers the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship (LECS) Program in Dearborn County for Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment, Inc. A five-member scholarship committee and the DCF staff annually review each application during Phase I of the scholarship process. During Phase I, committee members know applicants only by a number assigned to them. Each committee member assigns scores to each applicant based on an essay written to address a specific question. DCF assigns additional scores based on financial need, cumulative academic scores (includes SAT, ACT & GPA), and number of family dependents.

Based on the highest total scores during Phase I of the process, six Lilly finalists are chosen. In early February, the finalists complete Phase II of the selection process, which consists of a personal interview, including a PowerPoint presentation to the scholarship committee and writing an impromptu essay on a specific topic. 

The scholarship committee then selects one nominee to receive the one scholarship allotted to Dearborn County, based on highest cumulative scores from Phase II of the scholarship process. The Foundation board of directors approves the nominee and the nominee’s information is then sent to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), a non-profit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, non-profit, private colleges and universities in the state. The ICI Selection Committee, made up of Indiana public and private college representatives, community foundation members and graduate scholarship recipients, reviews the nominations and forwards its endorsement to DCF in late March.


The five remaining LECS finalists are recognized as 2015 Dearborn Community Foundation Scholarship recipients. Each student receives a $1,000 educational grant paid directly to the student’s school. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years of secondary education at the college or university of the student’s choice. The Foundation is pleased to award the 2015 DCF scholarships to: Abbie Hornberger, Lawrenceburg High School; Sophia Sandford, Lawrenceburg High School; Megan Raftery, East Central High School; Dustin Beach, South Dearborn High School; and Sydney Senger, South Dearborn High School.