Stepler awarded Lilly scholarship

Written on 02/07/2024

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Kokomo School Corporation is proud to announce that senior Shelby Stepler has been awarded the highly esteemed Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. This scholarship recognizes Shelby’s outstanding academic achievements and commitment to her community.

It was a moment filled with sheer joy and overwhelming emotions as Stepler learned that she was the recipient of the Lilly scholarship. Surrounded by her family, members of the scholarship committee, KHS administrators, teachers, and counselors, she was presented with the scholarship. As the announcement was made, a group of Stepler’s fellow senior classmates joined the celebration, surprising her with hugs and applause.

The room was filled with proud smiles and tears of happiness as Stepler’s hard work and dedication were recognized in such a remarkable way. It was a truly unforgettable moment that underscored the immense support and sense of community that exists within the KHS community.

“Looking back at my time in Kokomo schools, I’m so grateful for everything that has helped to shape who I am today,” said Stepler. “From Sycamore Elementary School to KHS, each stage played a huge role in my success.

“In elementary school, my teachers were amazing. They sparked my love for learning and encouraged me to ask questions. At Central Middle International School, I developed time management skills and explored my love of music. And during high school, my Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses at KHS challenged me and helped me to develop critical thinking and teamwork skills. Kokomo Schools gave me a quality education and taught me the values of community and perseverance. I’ll always be thankful for that.”

Stepler’s involvement in Girls League, Student Council, the National Honor Society, and the Kokomo High School Band also played significant roles in her journey. KHS Band Instructor Brandon Anderson was pleased to highlight Shelby’s accomplishments at the scholarship presentation.

“Shelby has been an integral part of the Kokomo High School Band for four years, starting her musical journey in middle school at Central Middle International School,” said Anderson. “As a saxophonist, she has helped the KHS Marching Band and Indoor Winds to secure multiple championship awards. Despite facing scheduling conflicts in high school, Shelby worked closely with instructors and counselors to continue participating in band and pursuing her passion for music. She has earned this scholarship as a result of her dedication, and it is well-deserved recognition.”

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides four years of full tuition, required fees, and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and equipment. Stepler plans to attend Ball State University to pursue a degree in nursing.

Stepler surpassed nearly 70 fellow seniors from all five county schools who also sought the Lilly scholarship. The selection committee chose Stepler following an interview with eight finalists.

KHS Principal Angela Blessing shared her excitement for Stepler’s accomplishments.

“We are incredibly proud of our Wildkat!” said Blessing. “Shelby is a shining example of the incredible potential and talent we have within our student body. Our KHS Counseling Department endeavors to provide all students with the tools, resources, and information to reach their potential.

“Shelby’s intrinsic motivation, together with the support of our KHS counselors and teachers, has paved the path for Shelby to receive the prestigious Lilly Scholarship, leaving behind a remarkable legacy that will inspire future Wildkats to strive for excellence and make a positive difference in their communities. We have no doubt that Shelby will continue to excel in her future endeavors at Ball State University and beyond.”

The entire Kokomo Schools community congratulates Shelby Stepler on her outstanding achievement and wishes her continued success in her academic pursuits. The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is a testament to Shelby’s efforts, dedication, and commitment to creating a better world.