Hatchet Headlines

Washington High School Students Playing Key Role in Launch of Our Community Foundation


Work by students at Washington High School to develop an identity and web presence for Our Community Foundation is providing a big boost to the development of a new standalone community foundation in Daviess County.

In November, local leaders announced a plan to bring control of the Daviess County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Evansville based Community Foundation Alliance, Inc. to Daviess County. The plan requires several components to separate from the affiliation agreement. One of those is forming a new community foundation in Daviess County.  

“Because we are forming a new community foundation, we are creating everything,” says Joe Singleton, President of the new stand-alone community foundation, called Our Community Foundation. “In addition to policies and procedures, we needed everything from a logo to a website.” 

Washington High School students and their teachers were ready to take on the task of creating a logo and website for the new foundation. 

“Students from Washington High School have been working with the Foundation to develop a long list of tools we can use to develop our identity and website,” says Mary Smith, Executive Director of Our Community Foundation. “We are very thankful for their efforts.”

Smith says Evan Stoll’s Marketing class, Jenilee Counsil’s Art Class, and DeWayne Shake’s Broadcasting students have been working together to develop a website for Our Community Foundation. The development of the website includes a long list of projects.  

“Those include communication tools like colors, website organization and design, logos, photos, videos, and font styles,” says Smith. “We are impressed with all their work and what they have developed so far. It is very clear to us that they have studied what community foundations do and then come up with ideas about how best to tell our story to our community and beyond.”

Several members of the Foundation Board have reviewed their work and given input along the way. And, on Monday, the entire Board will be making the final selection of a logo and website domain name. 

“It’s been very exciting,” says Paula Jones, who previously worked in the graphic design and marketing field and is now Secretary of Our Community Foundation’s Board. “To work in partnership with these students to build the Foundation from the ground up has been very worthwhile. We are thankful to be part of Washington High School’s Project Based Learning program.”

Evan Stoll, WHS Marketing Teacher agreed with Jones and said the experience was an excellent way for the students to use their skills. “The website build was a great way for the students to get real-life, hands-on experience in the world of marketing, especially in the area of promotion. They did a great job, and we will be able to reflect back on this project as we move through our course of study.”

Jenilee Counsil, WHS Art Teacher also agreed, “Working with Our Community Foundation has been an incredible experience. Students were able to take their digital art skills and collaborate to create art that will have an important cause.”

For WHS Senior Kenli Barber the experience not only helped her use skills but expanded her understanding of Daviess County and the work of a community foundation. "I had the opportunity to combine my marketing and photography skills that I've learned in each of these classes and put them to work in the "real world!" Their non-profit is a great organization, and that was especially brought to my attention during this project. They serve our community in more ways than most ever imagined. Working with Our Community Foundation has been an honor this semester."

   students posing

Photo WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL WEBSITE DESIGN STUDENTS OUR COMMUNITY FOUNDATION   CAPTION:  Left to right are WHS students, Alex Hill, Xavier Frank, and Molly Jones. Their website design has been chosen for Our Community Foundation.

kids posing

Photo WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS OUR COMMUNITY FOUNDATION PHOTOS    CAPTION:  WHS students used their photography skills to complete the photography work for Our Community Foundation’s new website. Students working on the project were Kenli Barber, Emma Culver, Jesse Ledgerwood, Sydney Melton, Kencia Levasseur, Ben Grub, and Austin O'Brian.

WHS Senior Alaina Thorne named 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Recipient

The Daviess County Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Alaina Thorne is the 2022 recipient of the Daviess County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership.

“It was a pleasure to work closely with our dedicated members of the scholarship nomination committee to determine finalists and nominate this year’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient, Alaina Thorne. Alaina is an impressive student and I look forward to seeing her excel during the next four years of college, and many years to come. Although we could only nominate one student for the award, all finalists should be very proud of their accomplishments.

This is a stellar group of students!” said Melinda Waldroup, Director of Programs and Strategic Engagement, Community Foundation Alliance.
Each Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides for full tuition, required fees and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university.

Alaina Thorne is the daughter of Dr. Marcus Thorne and Dr. Jacqueline Graber, of Washington, IN. She is a senior at Washington High School and plans to attend Notre Dame University studying Pre-Medicine – Biomedical Engineering. In addition to exceling academically, Thorne has been involved in a variety of school activities including Deca, Student Council, and Business Professionals of America. She is active in athletics - basketball, volleyball and tennis. Thorne received a varsity letter every year she has played, and has been named all-conference in all three sports. She was named team captain for both basketball and volleyball her junior and senior years. Outside of school, Thorne has
participated in New Hope Christian Church Journey through Bethlehem, Feed My Sheep canned food drive, and a Christmas program helping families.

In nominating Daviess County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholar, consideration was given to academic performance, community service and volunteer activities, personal statement of goals and essay, school activities, sports and work experience, finalist impromptu essay, and finalist interview. After the field of applicants was narrowed down by the Daviess County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program (LECSP) Nominating Committee, the nominee and alternates were submitted to the statewide administrator of the LECSP, Independent Colleges of Indiana, for the selection of the scholarship recipient.

Scholarship award alternates were also announced. Trista Swartzentruber from Barr-Reeve High School was named first alternate and Seth Allison from Washington High School was named second alternate. Each will receive a $3,000 scholarship from the Friends of Daviess County Fund. In addition, all remaining finalists will also receive a scholarship from the Friends of Daviess County Fund.

The LECSP is administered locally by the Community Foundation, with the support of local high schools, and the administrative oversight by the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. Lilly Endowment created the LECSP for the 1998-1999 school year and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling in excess of $439 million. More than 5,000 Indiana students have received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship since the program’s inception.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are: 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit, and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.