The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


Lilly Endowment scholarship aids students in reaching collegiate dreams

Photo Contributed
Senior Camille Grove embraces her parents after finding out she received the Lilly Endowment scholarship during a show choir performance.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is one of the most prestigious scholarships an Indiana high school student can receive, paying full tuition at any public or private Indiana four-year college or university. This year, seniors Camille Grove and Meghna Pillai have been awarded this honor. 

“There were basically two rounds of it,” Grove said. “The first round was just your basic application and you submit it online. You submit one part, which is what activities you do, what you are involved in, what your classes are like. There were a couple essays on it.”

Like any other scholarship, academics played a big role in the application process. However, there was something more profound about Grove and Pillai that made their applications stand out.

“I think throughout high school, I’ve only taken AP and honors classes, but I think it’s more about the essays,” Pillai said. “I think I came across as passionate in my essays and my interview and I think that’s the most important thing, to relay that passion. I have a lot of aspirations and I think they saw that.”

One of the ways both Grove and Pillai were able to convey their passion was through their volunteering experiences.

“I think one of the biggest things they look for is volunteering,” Grove said. “Not how much you volunteer, but the enjoyment the volunteering brings you. You can volunteer however many hours but if you’re just volunteering to volunteer, it’s different than doing it because it brings you joy.”

Grove spends a lot of time volunteering at a Title 1 elementary school in Perry Township.

“I volunteer there so much because that is where my mom worked,” Grove said. “She would take me and my brother there over the summer when we were young and give out lunch bags with books, and that was the first memory I had of volunteering so I have helped there every opportunity I could since. Sixteen of my mom’s students are English as a Second Language students so it’s definitely a different environment. As for the movement class, I did ballet until sophomore year so movement was always big for me, so seeing those kids not get to experience it because they can’t participate in gym or recess, I decided I just wanted to help.”

Aside from studying or volunteering, both Grove and Pillai participate in a myriad of extracurricular activities. 

“I’m in Debtones, so that takes up a big chunk of my time,” Grove said. “I do a lot of clubs here at the school, so I’m in HOSA, student government, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society. A big thing I do outside of school is I volunteer at a Title 1 elementary school in Perry Township, so that takes up a lot of my time too. I also like to spend time volunteering at my church.”

Like Grove, Pillai participates in HOSA and National Honor Society. However, she is also treasurer of Women in Stem, participates in Culture Club, Tri-M Honor Society, as well as creating the Writer’s League club. Despite their differences, both girls were equally shocked and excited upon winning the scholarship.

“I was freaking out,” Pillai said. “I got a call two weeks prior to the  public announcement from one of the people on the board. We pretty much celebrated all night.”

Grove recalls the night she found out the big news vividly.

“I actually found out in the middle of one of my choir shows, so I was surrounded by 55 other girls,” Grove said. “I came out of one of the practice rooms and I was hyperventilating and someone thought that I forgot a piece of my costume, but then I told them and everyone started screaming and I started crying and it was like one giant hug-fest. After the show, I got to go and tell my parents who had been waiting for the news and then we all just hugged and cried and my grandparents came over and I got to tell them at the same time so it was a big emotional event.”

Grove plans to attend Butler University, undergoing a six-year Doctor of Pharmacy.  Pillai is undecided in a university.

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About the Contributor
Julia Lucas
Junior Julia Lucas is a first year staff member. In publications, she mainly writes student and sports features for the website. Lucas is part of the cross country and track team and loves watching movies and making art.

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