Penn High School senior Kendra Laidig received the Lilly Scholarship Award in 2017. This prestigious scholarship gives Laidig four years tuition free to the college of her choice in Indiana. She plans to start at Butler University in Fall 2018.

One of Indiana’s most generous and prestigious scholarships doesn’t come easy. Laidig explains the vigorous application process outside of the expected test scores and report cards, which she excels in. “Talk about what activities you’ve done in high school, volunteer service, and also, you have to do some essays, and get a letter of recommendation… A well-rounded application is what they’re looking for.”

The foundation of the Lilly Scholarship was intended to open up opportunities for students who work hard and dream big. Doors to renowned colleges all across the state were opened for the Penn DECA President. Ultimately, she decided Butler University, a private university of just under 5,000 students in Indianapolis, was the right choice for her. “I had always planned on going [to Purdue], and when I decided to become a physician’s assistant, Butler went up on my radar because they have a great P.A. school.”

Butler also has a reputable foreign exchange program, which Laidig is prepared to take full advantage of. “I’d like to study abroad in Spain for a semester. I’d love to go visit [what we’re learning about in class, and] this is just another opportunity that the scholarship has opened up for me.” As a future minor in Spanish, Laidig plans to use her experiences and travels to the fullest in her career.

As her last year as a high schooler comes to an end, Laidig looks forward to her bright future. The Lilly Scholarship has opened doors for the scholar, and she encourages others to take every opportunity seriously and wholeheartedly. “It’s taught me to keep working hard because it pays off, and to never limit yourself and dream big because I was never going to apply for it because I didn’t think I’d get it.”


By Kevin McNulty

Kevin McNulty teaches English and Mass Media Studies at Penn High School. He advises the Penn News Network and manages the PNN Studio and news room. For more information, navigate your browser to