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Indiana Department of Administration

IDOA > Statehouse Tour Office > Hoosier Heroines Essay Contest Hoosier Heroines Essay Contest

Hoosier Heroine Essay Contest Statewide Office Holders

First Lady Karen Pence was joined by Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and Auditor Suzanne Crouch, in inviting students grades 6-9 to participate in an essay contest telling who their Hoosier Heroine is and why.

One winner from each participating grade level (grades 6-9) was selected. Winning essays were chosen by the following offices:

    • 6th Grade – Lt. Governor
    • 7th Grade – Secretary of State
    • 8th Grade – Auditor
    • 9th Grade – Superintendent of Public Instruction

Video from the Awards Ceremony

The essay winners awards program was held at the Indiana Statehouse March 26, 2014.

Watch the ceremony: http://www.webinar.in.gov/p6693x4unt8/.

More details about the Hoosier Heroines essay contest can be found in the contest packet.

2014 Winning Essays


Hoosier Heroine Essay Contest 2014 Winners

Toni Ashley - Compassionate and Courageous
By Elizabeth Cooper - 6th Grade

First Lady Karen Pence
By Diamond Miller - 7th Grade

A Girl Who Will Fly
By Lizzy Frazier - 8th Grade

An Unnoticed Heroine
By Emily Jones - 9th Grade

Indiana’s First Lady and Female Statewide Office Holders

First Lady Karen Pence First Lady Karen Pence
Hoosier Heroine: Ruth Lilly
Ruth was the heiress to the Lilly fortune. Her grandfather was Eli Lilly, who built the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company. I am always humbled to see people of means who choose to give their fortunes away to benefit others. Ruth Lilly inspires me as I endeavor to choose wisely as I award grants and scholarships from the Indiana First Lady's Charitable Foundation. Ruth gave to organizations that benefited health care, health education, youth, historic preservation, the arts, and poetry. Her estate also donated $8 million to the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy. Her legacy will live on teaching others to give back.


Lt. Governor Sue EllspermannLt. Governor Sue Ellspermann
Hoosier Heroines: The Sisters of Benedict of Ferdinand
This community of religious women came to Indiana from Germany in 1867 at the request of the growing Catholic community to teach in the schools to a predominantly German immigrant population. They grew their convent into now the second largest Benedictine monastery in the country. Their legacy includes a girls' high school, a teachers' college, a hospital and many other ministries. They were women leaders at a time before the women's movement and equal opportunity had a name. And, most importantly, they led with grace and humility in the service of others.


Secretary of State Connie LawsonSecretary of State Connie Lawson
Hoosier Heroine: Her mother
I most admire my mother who has raised 8 children, worked as a nurse, served as a missionary for several years in Indonesia and completed several smaller mission trips to Afghanistan, Haiti and other countries as well as traveled to Indian reservations. Her selfless giving of her time and talents to make the world a better place has inspired me to help others through public service.


Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda RitzSuperintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz
Hoosier Heroine: Madam C.J. Walker
I have always looked up to Madam C.J. Walker. Not only was she a hardworking and innovative businesswoman, she also generously gave back to her community. She was an advocate for education and fought to end prejudice, all while growing her business, and I am proud to call her my Hoosier Heroine.


Auditor Suzanne CrouchAuditor Suzanne Crouch
Hoosier Heroine: Karen Pence
Karen Pence is a true Hoosier Woman Hero. As a wife, mother and teacher Karen sets an example, every day, for young men and women across our great state. By educating and volunteering to improve the lives of Hoosier children, Karen is creating a brighter future for the state of Indiana.