Jaelen Nice has been named the recipient of a four-year, full tuition scholarship as the Washington County Community Foundation 2017 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

Nice was surprised after basketball practice with the assistance of coach, Hank Weedin. Lindsey Wade-Swift with the Washington County Community Foundation and Weedin collaborated and decided to bring Nice in to brainstorm ideas of how to encourage more students to attend the basketball game in January for which there are free tickets. 

“Most students are ready to go home after a long day of school and practice, but Jaelen was more than willing to meet with us.  In fact, he was going to shoot more baskets after practice.  That’s very telling of his character and drive,” Wade-Swift stated. 

“When I found out, I really didn’t know what to think. I was excited and humbled at the same time.  I just feel very blessed to have an opportunity like this.  It still doesn’t seem real to me yet.  I’m just so incredibly thankful,” states Nice.

Jaelen plans on pursuing a degree in Biochemistry or Radiology and is leaning towards attending Anderson University.

He is an integral part of the Lions Tennis team and Basketball team, a member of Student Council, the Washington County Youth Foundation, Vice- President of National Honor Society, Science Club, Booster Club, FCA President, and Vice-President of the Senior Class.

Nice participates in several community service projects such as Dare to Care food distribution, Jump Start, school blood drives, Relay for Life, VBS, and many more. 

He has also received many athletic and academic awards including Tennis All-Conference, FCA Christian Athlete Award, National History Day Career Award, and academic excellence in math, English, history, Spanish, and science.

Thirty-four applications were turned in for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship to the Washington County Community Foundation.

The WCCF has developed a score sheet and ranking based on criteria that includes:  GPA, SAT/ACT scores, Financial Need, First Generation College Student, Activities, Community Service, Honors/Awards, and Essay. 

The top students are then chosen to interview in front of the WCCF Scholarship Committee.  After the Washington County Community Foundation scholarship committee narrowed the field to 4 nominees, the finalists’ names were submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for the selection of the recipients.

ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education. Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree.  There were 142 scholarships awarded statewide.

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever.