Cascade student wins Eli Lilly scholarship


Shaelyn Skidmore, Staff

Mariah Richardson is not only a great friend to her peers, but she is someone to look up too.

Richardson won the Eli Lilly Scholarship last December, which is an incredible accomplishment.

The Lilly Endowment Scholarship allows Richardson to get a full scholarship to a college of her choosing and a stipend for books and other fees. Richardson says that this scholarship can also open doors to other scholarships that pay for room and meal plans.

Richardson applied for the scholarship as well as going through an interview process near the end of October. She got the call on December 1, 2022 to tell her that she won.

She says that the biggest reason she won was all of her extra curricular activities. Richardson states, “I have held two part-time jobs, and I have done a lot of volunteer work, as well as competing in several academic competitions, co-owning a business and starting the process of creating my own non-profit organization dedicated towards dementia awareness.”

Richardson plans to go to Butler University for industrial-organizational psychology or something in the field of neuropsychology. She says after all of her schooling is finished, she would like to work at both big and small companies to evaluate how they run.

Her other goals include volunteering at schools as a counselor, or to start an organization to offer more free and accessible counseling within schools. She says that after a few years in that field she plans to work for the Behavioral Analysis unit within the Federal Bureau of Investigation or also known as the FBI.

Richardson says that many people inspired her, but the people who inspired her most were her parents, Jen and Todd Richardson and her Criminal Justice instructor, Trent Theobald.

She says that her parents helped her realize that just because she doesn’t have a formal post-secondary education, that hard work and dedication can take you where you want to be.  Richardson states, “They pushed me from a young age to be the hardest working person in the room, and challenge myself to think more critically, just as they had always done.”

Richardson said that Theobald inspired her to work towards her dreams, reminding her that she can change the world. She says that he allowed lots of opportunities for her and he inspired her by being himself.

“He inspired me by always being himself, and by always jumping for opportunities like going to the FBI Academy, becoming a security guard, and serving within Speedway P.D.”

Richardson has had a very successful career though high school and she says that her favorite part was the clubs and extracurricular activities. She says that she enjoyed going and experiencing Area 31. She also loves being challenged by the clubs she is in and fighting for regional, state, and national competitions.