Exceptional IPS student takes home college scholarship


Earlier this June, the Sam Odle Scholarship was awarded to an outstanding IPS senior in honor of Sam Odle, an IPS board member and advocate for the district. Odle was also the moderator of The Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series® 38th Class, which is generously funded by the Lacy Foundation. The class decided to honor his service by giving a scholarship to a deserving IPS student headed to college in the fall.

Andrew Black, one of the students in Odle’s class says he is “incredibly thoughtful, accessible, and keenly aware of the issues the city faces. The value his experience and leadership adds to young professionals is immense.”

This year, the SKL class’s focus was on economic mobility and income inequality, or “The Haves and the Have Not” concept, and one of their focuses was on education. The class worked to develop a set of criteria for choosing a student for their scholarship, which looks like this:

  • The student is a first generation college student;
  • The student is a recipient of free or reduced lunch/has a case for financial hardship;
  • The student has a minimum 3.0 GPA and has submitted a transcript along with their application that identifies this;
  • The student maintained a high level of character and commitment to their community through service or volunteerism

The class engaged the IPS Education Foundation to make outreach to building administrators and counselors to find deserving students to apply for the scholarship. The recipient was Landan Palmer, this year’s Salutatorian at Shortridge High School. Palmer was raised by his grandmother and eventually became part of the foster care system. Besides his commitment to his schoolwork, he’s also spent a significant amount of time volunteering at the Roudebush VA Medical Center, and he aspires to be a U.S. Marine after college.

Today, Palmer lives on his own and is solely responsible for his college expenses. He is a 21st Century Scholar and plans to attend Indiana University-Bloomington this fall. The SKL Scholarship will put him on a path for success as he starts his college career.

Palmer is just one of the extraordinary IPS students whose future success is impacted by the generosity of others. He says he is “ecstatic” to receive this scholarship. The SKL leadership class is proud to be able to honor a man who has been so passionate about IPS by supporting Palmer with a scholarship. The IPS Education Foundation provides a mechanism to get money to deserving students like Landan Palmer can further their education and create a brighter future.