Vanderburgh Community Foundation Announces 2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Recipients

(Evansville, Indiana)  The Vanderburgh Community Foundation has announced Saisantosh Ponna, Ankush Dhawan, and Elizabeth Broshears are the recipients of the 2020 Vanderburgh County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships. The scholarships provide full-tuition, required fees, and an annual stipend of up to $900 for required books and equipment for four years of full-time undergraduate study leading to a baccalaureate degree from an accredited Indiana college or university.

Saisantosh is the son of Veera Ponna and Sarita Gogula of Newburgh. He is a senior at Signature School and plans to study neuroscience. In addition to exceling academically, Saisantosh is a member of the Math, Robotics, Business, Basketball, and Soccer clubs.  He has participated in Student Council, band and school dance productions, and is a competitive tennis player. He is involved in several community activities including the Youth Resources Teen Advisory Council and Teen Court and volunteers as a tutor. Saisantosh developed the “Tennis 4 Wellness” program to promote wellness and help his peers overcome stigmas related to being overweight.

Ankush is the son of Andeep and Radhika Dhawan of Newburgh. He is a senior at Signature School and plans to study engineering. In addition to excelling academically, Ankush is member of the Chess, Math, Robotics, Science Tutoring, and Basketball clubs.  He has participated in Student Council, band and school dance productions; and is a competitive Golf, Tennis, and Soccer player. His community involvement includes the Youth Resources Teen Advisory Council and Teen Court.  He has also volunteered with both local and international organizations. Ankush has also conducted and published independent research relating to water quality and applied for numerous patents.

Elizabeth is the daughter of Philip and Amy Broshears of Evansville. She is a senior at Reitz Memorial High School and plans to study biochemistry. In addition to excelling academically, Elizabeth is a member of the Key and EB/SamStrong clubs. She has participated in Student Council, served as Tiger Ambassador, competed in the Academic Super Bowl, and is a competitive swimmer. Elizabeth’s community involvement includes volunteering with Challenger Baseball and Special Olympics. She also started her own business, providing swimming lessons and water safety instruction.

Award alternates were also announced and they are Akshaj Mishra, a senior at Signature School; Graham Griffin, a senior at Signature School; and Ethan Meunier a senior at Reitz Memorial High School.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is a statewide program administered by local community foundations throughout Indiana. The Community Foundation administers the program locally in conjunction with the Community Foundation Alliance and the local high schools.  Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) provides statewide oversight of the program.

The Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation, created in 1937 by members of the Lilly Family. In keeping with the wishes of the founding members, the Lilly Endowment exists to support the causes of education, religion and community development.

Since the program was first introduced in 1998, Lilly Endowment has remained steadfast in its belief that education at all levels is indispensable to the personal, civic and economic well-being of Indiana residents and communities.

The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 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.