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Heritage Fund Lilly Scholar wins Pulitzer

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
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Erika Espinoza, one of The Heritage Fund - Community Foundation of Bartholomew County's (HFBC) 2013 Lilly Scholars, has become the first Ball State student to win a Pulitzer Prize. The Columbus North grad was part of The Arizona Republic and USA Today Network team that won the 2018 award for Explanatory Reporting for its digital story "The Wall," a 2017 report of President Trump’s proposed border wall. Erika is a 2017 Ball State journalism graphics graduate and is finishing her first year of BSU's graduate school Emerging Media Design and Development program.

Erika worked with the Arizona Republic/USAT Network for about a year and a half after interning there in 2015. At the time of the award-winning piece, she was finishing her undergraduate studies and working remotely for the team on site design for the project. After grad school, she hopes to find a job "where I can apply user experience design to do problem solving. It’s also very important to me that I find a place that isn’t afraid of innovation, whether it’s a media company or a design studio."

Erika served as executive editor of design for “The Triangle,” North’s student newsmagazine and was selected as one of two 2013 Lilly Scholars for Bartholomew County from among 60 applicants. The scholarship, sponsored by Lilly Endowment, managed by Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. and administered locally by HFBC, provides recipients four years of tuition for a baccalaureate degree at the Indiana college or university of their choice.

"All of this would not have been possible if I hadn’t received the Lilly Scholarship," Erika said. "For those seniors who are applying for this scholarship, keep in mind that this is more than a full ride. If you really take advantage of this opportunity, which not many people get, you could really achieve A LOT of things. It’s basically the foundation of your education and what you choose to do with it can really take you far!"

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