Rachel Lenig ’18, a nursing major at Valparaiso University, is a “Realizing the Dream” award recipient for 2015–2016.
Funded by the Lilly Endowment since 1989, this annual award honors sophomore, first-generation college students for outstanding academic achievement in the freshman year. The scholarship provides $2,500 toward the tuition and expenses of one student at each of the 31 member institutions of the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), a nonprofit association that works for excellence and choice in higher education for all students.
Lenig, from Knox, Ind., is a member of Valpo’s Student Nurses Association, S.M.A.R.T. Connections Peer Mentor Program, and Latinos in Valparaiso for Excellence, and she also volunteers with American Red Cross Blood Drives and Compass Educational Program.
According to ICI, the “Realizing the Dream” program was conceived and developed by three individuals who were also first-generation college students — William C. Bonifield, former vice president for education, Lilly Endowment; William DuBois Jr., former president of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Indiana; and Louis C. Gatto, retired president of Marian University and former executive director of the Indiana Educational Facilities Authority.