Sofronici named Cass County’s 2016 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

Last Updated on March 28, 2016 by cassnetwork

A dream has come true for one Cass County student who will receive a full, four-year scholarship as the Cass County Community Foundation 2016 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar. Sydney H. Sofronici will receive not only full tuition to the Indiana college of her choice, but also a $900 stipend each year for required books and equipment.

Sydney is the daughter of Judy McCloskey and Radu Sofronici and a senior at Lewis Cass High School. She plans to attend Purdue University and pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. Her further aspirations include participating in a collaborative program between Purdue and the Indiana University School of Medicine that will result in a doctorate degree from Purdue and a medical degree from Indiana University. As a biomedical engineer, Sydney plans to specialize in the development of in vitro tissues to be used for organ transplants.

Sydney has received many academic awards and honors and will be graduating Egregia Cum Laude which is an academic distinction meaning with outstanding honor. This distinction is awarded to students who have the same grade point average as others but have pursued a more rigorous curriculum while doing so. She has also received several awards in athletics and music and was a three-year section leader for the  Lewis Cass Band that appeared in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2015. A two sport athlete, Sydney received Academic All-State recognition in both track and cross country and served as team captain for cross country in 2015.

Sydney will be the 7th recipient from Lewis Cass High School and the 35th Lilly Scholar for Cass County since the program began in 1998.

The Cass County Community Foundation received 26 applications for the 2016 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. Applicants were required to have an SAT score of at least 1100 or an ACT score of at least 24, as well as a 3.5 or higher GPA. All identifying details, such as student’s name, gender, and school name, were removed from the applications prior to review. Seven finalists were selected based solely on the criteria, which include academic ability, achievements, activities and citizenship. The finalists then participated in further review, which included writing an impromptu timed essay, followed by a face-to-face interview session with the selection committee. After completing the selection process, the CCCF Lilly Scholarship Committee submitted the name of the 2016 nominee to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for final approval. Each finalist will receive an award directly from the Cass County Community Foundation in recognition of their outstanding, high achievement.

ICI is a non-profit corporation that represents thirty-one regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is a result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education. There were 142 scholarships awarded statewide.

SOURCE: News release from Cass County Community Foundation

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