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SMWC student receives ‘Realizing the Dream’ scholarship

News | 03.26.2021

A Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) student was awarded a scholarship serving first-generation Indiana college students. Ethan Stattner, along with the other recipients, are getting a boost to their education funds this semester and re-connecting with influential educators who helped along the way after being named “Realizing the Dream” recipients by Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI).

Made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the scholarship program annually recognizes 30 first-generation college students from ICI’s private, non-profit colleges and universities. Students are selected for the $3,000 award for outstanding achievement during their freshman year as they successfully advance toward completing their bachelor’s degrees.

“This scholarship will help me achieve my colligate goals by lessening the stresses of student finances allowing me to focus more on my academic goals and worry less about my financial programs during college,” Stattner said.

The program historically honored recipients, their families and influential educators at an annual event. However, due to the pandemic, organizers created individual videos of each student describing what it means to them to be a first-generation college student and thanking the influential educator they have chosen to honor. Videos can be found at icindiana.org/rtd.

“Thanks to the continued support of Lilly Endowment, we get the opportunity to hear the inspiring stories of these first-generation students and the impact local educators have had on their drive to succeed academically,” ICI President and CEO David W. Wantz said. “Especially during these challenging times, these scholarship awards will provide critical support for these young people who are dreaming of future success.”

In addition to the students’ scholarship awards, the influential educators also receive $1,000 in professional development grants.

This year’s recipients and their influential educators are listed below. Information includes:

  1. The student’s name and hometown
  2. The college/university the student is attending
  3. The name of the student’s most influential teacher/mentor, the name of the school
  • Vanessa Weaver, Winamac
    Ancilla College
    Shanna Ricker, Ancilla College
  • Alice Dang, Anderson
    Anderson University
    Christy Kaufmann, Anderson Christian School
  • Samarah Williams, La Porte
    Bethel University
    Camellia Dabagia, Knapp Elementary School
  • Hannah Weiler, Sunman
    Butler University
    Marcie Trossman, East Central High School
  • Hailey Jenifer Brown, Whiting
    Calumet College of St. Joseph
    Jenifer Toth, Frank O’Bannon Elementary
  • Hannah Shrock, Waterloo
    DePauw University
    Shanna Lank, Dekalb High School
  • Bailey Elisse Owens, Centerville
    Earlham College
    Kim Carter, Centerville High School
  • Madison Van Gorden, Flat Rock
    Franklin College
    Lindsay Chase, Southwestern Jr./Sr. High School
  • Daniela T. Castro, Goshen
    Goshen College
    Theresa Collins, Goshen High School
  • Trinity Christmas, Indianapolis
    Grace College
    Aaron Burkhart, Pike High School
  • Allison Speas, Quincy
    Hanover College
    Daniel Varnes, Cloverdale High School
  • Hannsel Lopez Alvarez, Elkhart
    Holy Cross College
    Juan Carlos Alvarez, Adams High School
  • Preston Moistner, Milton
    Huntington University
    Joy Miller, Lincoln High School
  • Daniel Heredia, Hammond
    Indiana Institute of Technology
    Enrique Catalan, Hammond High School
  • Marqueshia M. Allen
    Indiana Wesleyan University
    Michelle Hawk, Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Heather Binion, Lebanon
    Manchester University
    Most Influential Educator: Alan Conrad, Lebanon Middle School
  • Micah Elise Thompson, Anderson
    Marian University
    Most Influential Educator: Melissa Thompson, Anderson High School
  • Jasmine Hamer, Indianapolis
    Martin University
    Viveca Carter, Martin University
  • Maizy Gilliland, Bloomfield
    Oakland City University
    Kristie Bladen, Bloomfield Jr./Sr. High School
  • Blake Deckard, Ellettsville
    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
    Brian Rosenburgh, Edgewood High School
  • Ethan Stattner, Cloverdale
    Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
    Suzie Jorden, Cloverdale Elementary School (retired)
  • Elizabeth Mendez, Plymouth
    Saint Mary’s College
    Jena Dreibelbis, Lincoln Junior High
  • Jessica Ditton, Huntington
    Taylor University
    Chelsey Wiley, Roanoke Elementary School
  • Emily Wampler, Bloomington
    Trine University
    Michelle Klawans, Bloomington High School North
  • Paige Johnson, Fort Branch
    University of Evansville
    Kyle Brasher, Gibson Southern High School
  • Siang Tha Len, Indianapolis
    University of Indianapolis
    Sara Berghoff, Southport High School
  • Camryn Barnett, Noblesville
    University of Notre Dame
    Most Influential Educator: Jason Giordano, Noblesville High School
  • Yamilex Diaz, Columbus
    University of Saint Francis
    Kyle Allison, University of Saint Francis
  • Larissa Chavarria, Valparaiso
    Valparaiso University
    Benjamin Kerezman, Valparaiso High School
  • Bryce McCullough, Greensburg
    Wabash College
    Jeff Maupin, Greensburg Community High School