Thursday, February 26, 2015

Meet the ENF Staff

Jocelyn Moya
Programs Assistant
How long have you worked at the ENF?
Just under two months. I started the first week in January.

What projects are you/your department working on right now?
Grants, grants, and more grants! But seriously, mostly approving Community Investments Program grant applications and reviewing Final Report Forms. It’s actually a very exciting time for us since we just got approved to increase the amounts on Promise and Gratitude Grants and we’re approaching the Community Investments Program’s 10th year.

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?
I really enjoy reviewing Final Report Forms. I get a good look into the projects we fund and how they’re impacting local communities. Most of them come with pictures and those are a lot of fun to look through.

Describe your average day at the ENF.

My average day at the ENF starts with responding to emails from local Elks Lodges followed by sorting through the mail to see what exciting things the Lodges have sent us. The majority of the mail we receive is Final Report Forms which I then sort by grant because Mary, Sarah and I each handle different grants. After opening and sorting the mail, I review and process Final Report Forms. Depending on how many we receive that day I might also scour through our files for new pictures to post on the CIP’s Instagram or write a story for Elks in Action. I’ve written two Promise Grant stories so far and I strongly encourage you to check them out. Click here to read the most recent!

What are you looking forward to this year?
I’m really excited to celebrate the 10th year of the Community Investments Program! It’s great to see how much this program has grown and the impact it continues to have in Elks communities. It’s a very exciting time for me to come on board.

Outside of the ENF, I’m really looking forward to the summer. It has been a long and drawn out winter here in Chicago so I’m ready to get outside and enjoy the city.

What’s one thing about you that might surprise people?
I have a fear of clusters of holes, specifically tiny ones. They give me the heebie-jeebies for days. I didn’t realize it was a thing until the topic came up when talking with a friend one day.

What reality show would you go on and why?

Is there one where you get to travel the world and eat a lot of food? That’s the one I’d be on. Ideally it’d be co-hosted by Anthony Bourdain and Shakira.


A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Elks National Foundation helps Elks build stronger communities through programs that support youth, serve veterans, and meet needs in areas where Elks live and work. Lodges meet local needs in Elks communities through Community Investments Program Beacon, Gratitude, Promise and Impact Grants. These grants offer Lodges opportunities to serve the community in ways that will raise the Lodge’s profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things. To learn more about the Community Investments Program, please visit www.elks.org/enf/community. 

 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Anastasia Pineschi
2014 Legacy Awards Recipient
 
University of California, Los Angeles—Theatrical Set Design Major

Sponsored by Sun City Ariz., Lodge No. 2559


Elks scholars are well-rounded and dedicate their time to the things they are passionate about. For Anastasia Pineschi, she balanced her interests in athletics and the arts while also giving back to her community.

At 9 years-old, Anastasia began taking fencing lessons at the encouragement of her father. Through practice and dedication, she became an internationally ranked fencer and a team captain by high school and continues to develop her skills.

She was also a soprano soloist for the Mira Costa Vocal Ensemble, while serving as Artist Council President at the National Children’s Chorus and performing the principal part in several operas at the Los Angeles Opera.

She also had a strong performance academically, being a member of the National Honors Society and the California Scholarship Federation, an organization that recognizes academically motivated students and encourages involvement in community service.

Anastasia took this encouragement and volunteered her time as a day counselor at the Tumbleweed Day Camp, a camp that allows children to enjoy nature within Los Angeles, and serving as student teacher at the Learning Garden, a community garden located at her high school that allows students to learn about and be close to nature.

She now looks forward to continuing her interest in theatre as she studies theatre set design and combines her interests and passions into a career. 

“I’m extremely grateful to the Elks for their generosity, sense of community and kindness,” says Anastasia. “I want to return my heartfelt thanks to the Elks for the potential they saw within me when I was awarded the status of an Elks scholar.”

A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Elks National Foundation helps Elks build stronger communities through programs that support youth, serve veterans, and meet needs in areas where Elks live and work. In 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation allocated $1 million to fund 250 scholarships for the children and grandchildren of Elks. If you know any Elks children who are high school seniors, encourage them to visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars for information, including eligibility and deadlines.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Savannah Pham
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar
 
Stanford University—Psychology Major

Sponsored by Temecula Valley, Calif., Lodge No. 2801


Savannah Pham leads her life according to an Abraham Lincoln quote, “I have an irrepressible desire to live until I can be assured the world is a better for my having lived in it.” Savannah is already on her way to making the world a better place.

In high school, Savannah was active in the Air Force JROTC program, serving as a class officer and senator, and rising in the ranks to become a Cadet Commander for her unit of nearly 300 students.

She was also a leader in academics, being a member of the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation. She also volunteered her time with the Murrieta Youth Advisory Committee, planning events for local teens to keep them engaged and out of trouble, while also serving as a lawyer for Youth Court, and organizing events for local senior citizens.

Beyond the classroom, she was able to pursue her interest in psychology when she interned as a research assistant at the University of Wyoming, helping conduct studies into depression.

“Being an Elks scholar is a truly humbling and incredible experience,” says Savannah. “I can’t wait to involve myself in service projects at my local Lodge so I can give back to the community that has supported me.”

A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Elks National Foundation helps Elks build stronger communities through programs that support youth, serve veterans, and meet needs in areas where Elks live and work. For 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation allocated $2.44 million to fund the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, which includes 500 four-year Most Valuable Student Scholarships. For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Elks Community Builder


Greenwood, Miss., Lodge No. 854

With the help of the Elks from Greenwood, Miss., Lodge No. 854, Sgt. John Pittman Drive—a major route in the city of Greenwood—is looking more beautiful than ever. The Lodge used an Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant to partner with Boy Scout Troop 200, the Greenwood Department of Public Works, and local volunteers to improve the appearance of this major road. 
 
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all the individuals involved in making this project a success, 214 trees were planted along the route.

“The Lodge came together and made this a success,” says Community Investments Program Project Manager Walter Jordan. “More members and citizens have expressed a desire to participate in the continuation of the project next year.”

A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Elks National Foundation helps Elks build stronger communities through programs that support youth, serve veterans, and meet needs in areas where Elks live and work. Through Beacon Grants, the ENF gives Lodges the opportunity to develop an ongoing, charitable, Elks-driven community project. These $2,000 grants are available to all Lodges. To find out more about Beacon Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.

 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Kylie Lan Tumiatti
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar

Seton Hall University — Diplomacy and International Relations

Sponsored by Melbourne, Fla., Lodge No. 1744


Adopted as an infant from a Chinese orphanage, Kylie Lan Tumiatti has overcome many obstacles to become a passionate and driven individual. Though she spent years recovering from her first few months, Kylie never let it hold her back. She became involved in community service early on.

In high school, she combined her love of reading and knowledge of the difficulties of learning English as a second language into a unique community service project. She partnered with a local nonprofit to create a literacy program for the children of migrant workers. Over the past six years, Kylie has raised funds, created activities and plays to help students learn, and recorded stories so students could practice at home with their families. She continues to use technology to aid in English knowledge and plans to expand the program even further. 

“I wanted to teach these children to speak and read English so they could excel,” says Kylie, who was inspired by her younger sister, who also struggled in school after being adopted from China.

Kylie has won numerous prestigious awards which honor her dedication to improving the lives of others. These include ESPN 18 Girls Under 18, the Teen Nick HALO Awards, the Nestle Very Best in Youth Award, and the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

In college, Kylie’s passion for giving back continues to grow. She now works with the university’s Division of Volunteer Efforts, where she coordinates volunteers for service programs and takes weekly groups to visit residents at a center for individuals with developmental disabilities and the local library to read to children.

“My adoptive parents instilled in me the importance of family, faith, education and giving back,” says Kylie. “These goals help me to be a role model and someone the Elks are proud to have sponsored.”

A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Elks National Foundation helps Elks build stronger communities through programs that support youth, serve veterans, and meet needs in areas where Elks live and work. For 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation allocated $2.44 million to fund the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, which includes 500 four-year Most Valuable Student Scholarships. For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Elks Community Builder

Clayton, N.J., Lodge No. 2132
What are you doing this Friday? Elks from Clayton, N.J., Lodge No. 2132 will be dancing the night away!

Using its Elks National Foundation Promise Grant, Clayton Elks held a dinner and dance party for the
Friday Fanatics—a group of local teens with disabilities.

“One of the project’s successes is seeing the opportunity for the children to enjoy a wonderful dinner and party,” says CIP Project Manager Bill Oakley. “Without the Elks, this party would not be possible.”


Elks are committed to America’s future. To build the character and competence of local youth, the Elks National Foundation awards $2,000 Promise Grants to the first 500 Lodges that pledge to host an eligible youth event. To find out more about Promise Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Finals Week and High School Visits

By 2014 Legacy Awards Recipient and Elks Scholar Advisory Board Member Anji Radakrishnan

Anji Radakrishnan, 2014 Legacy scholar and freshmen representative on the Elks Scholar Advisory Board, is giving us a glimpse into life as a college freshmen. Join her each month as she blogs about her exciting new challenges and experiences at Penn State. 

Hi everyone! The last few weeks between Thanksgiving break and Winter Break were mostly centered on studying for finals. Studying for finals in college and high school are two completely different ballgames. In high school, I would stay at home and make my own study guides, maybe occasionally study with a friend over the phone. In college, I’ve never seen as many of my friends grouped in one place as during finals week. Whether I went to the study lounge, library, or even dining hall, there were swarms of people loudly engaging in group study. It was really the first time that I started studying in a group setting, and I learned how useful it actually is! Bouncing ideas off one another and learning from each other’s mistakes, we somehow got each other through that week.

However, the highlight of my Winter Break was returning to my high school. A group of alums met in the school gym and were each assigned to a different classroom to discuss our college experiences. Even though I wasn’t particularly close to the alums in my room, I felt a sort of companionship with them, knowing that we all had the mutual experience of a Bishop Guertin High School education. I looked out into the class of current seniors, remembering how I was in the same exact position only a year ago. I thought of all of the things I had learned in my first semester of college.

Each person discussed a different aspect of his or her college experience that affected them. The one that stood out to me most was socially. Having been an utter and complete nerd in high school, I used to think that the most important part of my education was what I learned in the classroom. I discussed in my last post how my education since coming to Penn State has truly branched out beyond the classroom. Sharing this knowledge with others added a whole new dimension to its truth. Afterwards, we had spare time to go through the school and visit our favorite teachers. Here is a picture of me with my favorite teacher, Mr. Galotta. Throughout my four years of high school, Mr. Galotta was somewhat of a grandfather to me, and words can’t describe how happy I was to see him again.

All in all, my first semester was truly amazing and I have just returned to school, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do it all over again! I hope all of the other Elks scholars have had (or are still having, if you’re lucky) a delightful and relaxing Winter Break, and return to school refreshed! Be prepared to take what you learned from last semester and apply it to make an even more rewarding next semester!

Anjithaa Radakrishnan
Elks Scholar Advisory Board Freshman Representative
Pennsylvania State University