The Lilly Initiative wants to reach even more students with the various scholarships it offers. However, with the Nov. 18 deadline for internship and loan applications looming, students are running out of time to benefit from Lilly’s programs.
“This has been very successful,” said Jan Everhart, director of the Lilly Initiative for Vocational Exploration.
One of the first scholarships offered by Lilly at Simpson was the Wesley Service Program. To receive the Program’s $500 scholarship, students must complete 40 hours of service work, participate in a reflection group three times a week and write a reflective paper on their experiences. In the past there have been 30-40 people in the Program, but last year there were 50.
The Lilly Internship also funds 10 interns a year. Students can opt to use their internships as college credit. A $1,000 scholarship is given after the recipient finishes 120 hours of volunteer work.
Lilly also offers a ministry internship. According to Everhart, this is the same as the Lilly internship except it is given to a student working in a faith-based setting.
Senior Mara LeHew is heavily involved with the ministry part of the Lilly initiative. She worked at First Baptist Church in Indianola for her ministry internship. She got connected with the church through its youth group, and she helps on Sundays. She said she’s glad it’s an option and there are many opportunities for other students interested in similar involvement.
“Churches are always wanting interns,” LeHew said.
LeHew received the Seminary Forgivable Loan from LIVE. This is available to a junior or senior with plans to go to seminary, and is worth up to $4,000 a year. It’s granted on a per-year basis.
“We have quite a few students [involved]” Everhart said.
Everhart said students have just been granted their first set of loans for this year. However, students can still apply mid-year because two seniors with LIVE scholarships will graduate in December.
Outside the school year, Lilly offers summer internships. Students can earn up to $2,500 for eight weeks of full-time work. Lilly funds six interns and can give some assistance with housing.
“All these are designed to get students into the community,” Everhart said, “It asks students, ‘Is this what I want to do?'”
It worked for LeHew. She credits Lilly with her decision to go into the ministry.
“If not for Lilly I wouldn’t be headed in this direction,” LeHew said.
Lilly doesn’t just reach students through scholarships: LIVE has added eight classes to Simpson’s coursebook. One is a course taught by Professor of Management Ruth Weatherly called Staying Alive: 9 to 5, and another is a May Term class called Call to Service.
Simpson’s original grant for LIVE was only supposed to last five years, but because Simpson has been so efficient the program will have enough money through May of 2009. Currently LIVE is applying for a sustaining grant. This could extend the program for three more years through May of 2012. Even after the grant runs out, Everhart said Simpson is considering ways to keep the programs running.
LeHew said she fully supports renewing the grant and feels that Lilly has fulfilled its goal.
Freshman Kyle Liske also thinks Lilly is an asset to Simpson.
“I think Lilly is great,” Liske said. “Not only does the community benefit from it, but the students do as well, whether it is by learning something about themselves or else by feeling good because they help others, which is a very enriching feeling”
While Lilly deals a lot with ministry, Everhart wants people to know that it’s not all what Lilly is.
“Every student should know that we have programming and support [for everyone on campus],” Everhart said.