Student and teachers take a photo together during the Realizing the Dream event.Twenty-nine first-generation Indiana college students got a boost to their education funds this academic year and re-connected with influential educators who helped along the way after being named “Realizing the Dream” recipients by Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI). These 29 scholarship recipients, one from each of Indiana’s private, non-profit colleges and universities, were celebrated at a banquet on February 25 at the Eiteljorg Museum. Award recipients, videos, and photos are listed below.  

Made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the scholarship program annually recognizes first-generation college students from ICI colleges and universities. Students are selected for the $4,000 award for outstanding achievement during their freshman year as they successfully advance toward completing their bachelor’s degrees. 

To honor recipients, ICI 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 

“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,” said Jodie Ferise, JD, ICI’s vice president & general counsel. “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.  

Listed below are the Realizing the Dream recipients and the colleges they are attending, as well as the teacher they’ve named as their most influential educator and school where they taught the recipient.  

Katelyn Quiroz, Anderson University 
William DeLisle, Hamilton Southeastern High School   

Austin Falk, Bethel University 
Michael Nolt, Northwood High School  

Idalia Moreno, Butler University 
Matt Payne, Avon High School  

April Mendoza, Calumet College of St. Joseph 
Lauren Nelson, Portage High School  

Stephanie Haynes, DePauw University
Leta Sena-Lopez, Kahler Middle School  

Makaylah Castelow, Earlham College
Kari Catanzaro, Maconaquah High School    

Amy Garrido Portillo, Franklin College 
Katie R. DeArmitt, Center Grove High School  

Brenton Hieu Pham, Goshen College 
Miriam Miller Avelar, Goshen High School  

Itsel Flores-Uribe, Grace College 
Mayra Aguilar, Concord Community Schools  

Clara McCulley, Hanover College 
Hannah Oliver, Silver Creek High School  

Dion Payne-Miller, Holy Cross College 
Rick Ankney, Elkhart Community Schools  

Aaron Dolph, Huntington University 
Beth Davis, Elkhart Area Career Center  

Cameron Scott, Indiana Institute of Technology 
Pat Shifley, Bishop Luers High School 

Gabriella Hoover, Indiana Wesleyan University 
Jim “Umfundisi” Lo, Indiana Wesleyan University  

Erica Ortiz, Manchester University 
Gwen Mize, Manchester Jr. Sr. High School  

Chloe Delgado, Marian University 
Julie Hult, Columbus East High School  

Kiara N. Bailey, Martin University 
Stanley Law, George Washington High School  

Monesjia Harvey, Oakland City University 
Shirley Posey, Imhotep Institute Charter High School  

Elley Adkins, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 
Cindy Aubuchon, McCutcheon High School  

Rylee Williamson, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Christopher M. Todd, South Spencer High School   

Ruby Meza, Saint Mary’s College 
Ana T. Acosta, Bishop Noll Institute  

Christina Veatch, Taylor University
Megan Orcutt, Noblesville High School  

Bethany Morgan Schmitt, Trine University 
Emily Watkins, Trine University  

Ashtyn Baxter, University of Evansville
Chasten Bear, Herron-Riverside High School  

Imelda Pozos, University of Indianapolis 
Lizzette Menendez, Frankfort High School  

Hayley JIE Brownd, University of Notre Dame
Jason McGee, Crown Point High School  

Aye Aye Ma, University of Saint Francis
Pamela Cobb, East Allen Career Center  

Hannah Schoner, Valparaiso University
Michael Tuholski, Laporte High School  

Jake Oostman, Wabash College 
incent Lewis, Crown Point Community School Corporation 

About Independent Colleges of Indiana
Independent Colleges of Indiana serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, non-profit colleges and universities. ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20 percent of its undergraduates.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community developmenteducation and religion.  Although the Endowment maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana, it also funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion.