Each year, two students from Hancock County are carefully selected to receive a full-ride scholarship to any Indiana college through the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, which is administered by the Hancock County Community Foundation. Two students from each Hancock County high school in the top 15% of their class are chosen to be finalists for the scholarship. The finalists are accomplished and driven teens who set themselves apart from their peers with their philanthropic interests. The two Mt. Vernon High School students chosen as 2018 Lilly Endowment Scholarship finalists are seniors Cade Gentry and Emma Walker.
Cade Gentry is involved in the Hancock County Hope House Youth Board, United Way Christmas Service, National Honor Society, Best Buddies, Green Team, Spirit Club, Mt. Vernon Youth Basketball Camp, Neighborhoods Against Substance Abuse (NASA), Mt. Vernon Youth Football League, Marauder Mentoring, Mt. Vernon Superintendent Advisory Council, and Traditions at Brookside Senior Living. Gentry has also attended the Academic Leadership Academy and acts as a voice for the high school students. He aspires to become a physician’s assistant in the future.
Mr. Greg Roach, the Mt. Vernon High School Principal, shared, “Cade has always been a young man who is willing to help. Anytime we have a male students wanting to shadow at Mt. Vernon, Cade is our go-to guy. He exemplifies what we want our students to achieve and is very personable.”
Emma Walker is a driven student who has overcome a debilitating condition. With extensive physical therapy, Walker regained the use of her legs. Through this experience, Walker came to the decision that she would like to pursue a career in nursing and continue to study American Sign Language to model herself after her compassionate caregivers. Walker is involved in the American Sign Language Club, prom committee, National Honor Society, Marauder Mentoring, and the Mt. Vernon yearbook editorial staff. Additionally, she helped to start a group called the Lifeline Club at Mt. Vernon Middle School as a response to a peer who committed suicide. These high school students help middle school students in a time of crisis. She also works eight hours each week as a caregiver with At Home Preferred. The Walker family founded Lay Me Down to Sleep, an organization that, for three years, has collected and provided bedding, beds, and mattresses to those who need them during the Christmas season. Walker has also dedicated her time to serve at camps, programs at various churches in the area, and assist with organizing a prom for her peers with disabilities.
Principal Roach shared, “I think Emma’s attitude and caring for others makes a difference and have asked her to be the MVHS representative for the development of a Mental Health Club. She is an outstanding finalist and representative of Mt. Vernon High School.”
Roach continued, “It is not a surprise these students have compassion for others that they do. Both of these students are great at academics, but I think they may be even better people. I know both Cade and Emma will accomplish great things in their lives.”
The recipients of the scholarship will be announced in December. Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation is proud to have two philanthropic students who are so willing to go above and beyond in order to help those in need, and wishes Cade Gentry and Emma Walker the best of luck!