Merley Is Tippy Winner of Lilly Scholarship

Tippecanoe Valley High School senior Shay Merley was one of two recipients of the Lilly Endowment Kosciusko County Community Foundation scholarship.
TVHS held a school-wide convocation Tuesday afternoon. Staff told Merley and his parents, Eric and Angie Merley, that he and other students were being awarded various smaller scholarships. To their surprise, the entire school gathered to celebrate Shay as he received the scholarship.
Suzie Light, Kosciusko County Community Foundation executive director, presented the scholarship to Shay in front of the crowd. Many students came to congratulate him.
At the time of his application, he was ranked third in his class. His school activities have included Peer Facilitators, in which he tutors and mentors middle and high school students. Merley has been a member of the Student Council, National Honor Society, Track and Field, Cross Country and Junior Varsity Football. His community activities included Kosciusko Youth Leadership Academy, Kosciusko Endowment Youth Services, Student Ambassador and his church’s youth group.
Merley’s volunteer work has included three mission trips, and as a camp counselor at a camp for children with disabilities. His volunteer time totaled more than 400 hours. Merley has been employed as an unpaid intern in the Information Technology Department for his school, as a dog kennel worker, as a tree planting/removal service worker and as a restaurant dish washer.
Merley’s references described him as hard working, kind, caring, exceptional, compassionate, mature and honorable. He plans to attend Rose Hulman Institute of Technology to study electrical engineering.
Shay said, “I like to make things, so (electrical engineering) was a good fit.”
The scholarship will cover four years of tuition at Rose Hulman. Light said that Rose Hulman was the most expensive four-year college in the state.
Eric said that he was shocked when he heard the news. He and Angie had hoped Shay would get the scholarship, but did not want to get their hopes up.
“He’s been stubborn,” Angie said, “The most expensive option was the one he had to take.”
Shay thanked Superintendent Brett Boggs and custodian Todd Glen, because on the day Shay had to travel to Warsaw to complete an essay for the scholarship, his car would not start due to the cold temperature. Boggs happened to see Shay struggling in the school parking lot, and arranged to have Glen transport him. Boggs said he was glad to help Shay out at the time, and that he was proud of his accomplishments.