Gibson County Community Foundation Announces 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Recipient

The Gibson County Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Madalynn Steckler is the 2022 recipient of the Gibson County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character and leadership.

“Madalynn exemplifies all of the qualities of a Lilly Scholar, she has not only excelled academically and athletically, but her volunteerism and community involvement is extraordinary. Her dedication to her family, community and peers, along with her positive attitude is truly impressive,” said Amy Smith, Regional Director of Community Engagement and Impact for the Gibson County Community Foundation.

Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university.

Madalynn Steckler is the daughter of Phillip and Jessica Steckler, of Haubstadt. She is a senior at Gibson Southern High School and plans to attend University of Notre Dame or Purdue University, studying Physics, Biology or Biomedical Engineering. In addition to exceling academically, Steckler has been involved in a variety of school activities including Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Peer Tutoring/Life Skills, Interdisciplinary Academic Decathlon Team, along with the English and History Academic Decathlon Team. She has obtained numerous accolades athletically, including PAC Honorable Mention her junior year in soccer and served as the Team Captain her senior year. Steckler received the Mental Toughness Award in swimming her sophomore and junior years, and participates in track and field for the Gibson Southern Titans She also plays lacrosse – achieving the ranking as 7th Best Goalie in Indiana her junior year. Outside of school, Steckler is extremely active with the Owensville Boys and Girls 4-H Club and volunteers with many community organizations, including St. Maria Goretti Youth Group, The House of Bread and Peace Women’s Shelter, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, and the Ronald McDonald House. She has a passion for volunteerism and has led multiple fundraisers for homeless shelters. During the pandemic, Steckler started “Madalynn’s Take and Bake Kitchen” business from her family’s kitchen. She also spends multiple hours assisting her grandmother with her baking business. 

In nominating Gibson County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholar(s), consideration was given to academic achievement, school activities, and work experience. After the field of applicants was narrowed down by the Gibson County Community Foundation’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program (LECSP) Committee, nominees were submitted to the statewide administrator of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program, Independent Colleges of Indiana, for final review and approval of the scholarship

Scholarship award alternates were also announced. Maura Kluesner was named as first alternate and will receive a scholarship from the Friends of Gibson County Fund. Karis Blacklock was named the second alternate.

The LECSP is administered locally by the Community Foundation, with the support of local high schools, and the administrative oversight by the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI).  Lilly Endowment created the LECSP for the 1998-1999 school year and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling in excess of $439 million. More than 5,000 Indiana students have received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship since the program’s inception.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are: 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.