Students who become recipients of the Herbert Presidential Scholars Program are unique, individual human beings with different goals and aspirations. Yet, they all share one thing in common: a dream to be the best they can be.
Indiana University’s prestigious scholarship program works to make those dreams happen. Selected individuals are considered top achievers with outstanding academic abilities and impressive leadership potential. Once a student is chosen as a Herbert Presidential Scholar, they receive a four-year renewable scholarship to attend any IU campus.
This year, five Herbert Presidential Scholars from IU East underscore the impact of the program—and its potential to change the futures of deserving young people.
This scholarship goes deeper than just getting school paid for, it means the world.
Being a Scholar
Jonathan Hardwick, Ariana Hernandez, Kasey Johnson, Kimbriana Settles, and Lillian Smith have a distinct vision about their college experiences and what they want to transpire once they graduate. But they all agree that the Herbert Presidential Scholars Program is instrumental in making those aspirational visions come to fruition.
“Simply put, my parents couldn’t afford to pay for my college,” says Lillian Smith. “Getting this scholarship made me less apprehensive about starting, as I wouldn’t have to work full time in order to pay for school. Now, I am following in the footsteps of my grandmother—a nursing graduate of IU East—with my own plans to forge a successful career in the medical field. It’s made all the difference.”
Kimbriana Settles and Kasey Johnson agree.
“This scholarship goes deeper than just getting school paid for,” Settles says. “It means the world.”
For Settles, who is the first in her family to go to college, that “world” includes her parents being repaid for the sacrifices they made to help their daughter realize her childhood dream of becoming a pediatric oncology nurse at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“All I have ever wanted is to find a way to repay my parents for the time and energy they have put into me,” Settles explains. “This scholarship did that for me. It gave me the opportunity to say, ‘Here mom, here dad, I did this. I did this for me and you.’”
That feeling resonates with Ariana Hernandez, who is majoring in social work. Her educational direction is a direct result of her bilingual background and helping her parents and other family members navigate daily life. She translates papers for them and helps with their finances. She also holds a part-time accounting job and a weekend gig as a retail clerk at American Eagle.
“My parents were so proud for me,” says Hernandez when learning of her selection as a Herbert Presidential Scholar. “I always wanted to be a leader in my family and in my community. I like helping out as much as I can, when I can,” she says.
For Jonathan Hardwick, the reality of the Herbert Presidential Scholars award is equally life-changing, putting them on a debt-free college path and giving them the opportunity to test boundaries and pay it forward.
Jonathan Hardwick, an ambitious student who hopes to earn three degrees before leaving the IU East campus, explains.
“My mother, Rosanne Hardwick, paved the path to IU East for me.”
Hardwick’s mother died on January 1, 2021, from complications related to COVID-19. It’s now her memory that Hardwick says propels them to keep pushing forward.
“My mom was always behind me. She definitely played a big role in me coming to IU East,” they note.
Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion social media channels