Clayton (CJ) Swift is 2019 Lilly Scholar

Clayton (CJ) Swift has been named the recipient of a four-year, full tuition scholarship as the Washington County 2019 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

CJ plans on pursuing a degree in computer science and is currently considering attending Franklin college. 

He is a senior at Salem High School where he is active in theatre and studio theatre, FCA, Owl Club, NHS, and several other organizations while excelling in academics. 

“I was honestly really surprised and I thought my parents were pranking me, but when the said they thought someone was pranking them I knew it was real," he said. "The fact that I’ve been chosen for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is still hard to believe, and I’m extremely thankful for it. The possibilities are endless now and this has allowed me to truly consider all of my options and has opened a new door for me. I will work hard and do my best. I am truly blessed and thankful for this opportunity."

Swift has participated in numerous community service endeavors and clubs including 4H, Relay for Life, Haunted Village, Veteran’s Day program, Memorial Day Flag Ceremonies, Salvation Army bell ringing, Old Settlers Days Activities, Eagle Scout projects, and assisting others with their Boy Scout and Eagle Scout projects. 

Thirty-nine applications were turned in for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. The evaluated criteria included:  GPA, SAT/ACT scores, financial need, first generation college student, activities, community service and honors/awards. After the Indianapolis-based evaluator narrowed the field to three nominees, the finalists’ names were submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for the selection of the recipient.

ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education. Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree. There were 142 scholarships awarded statewide.

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