Friday, November 21, 2014

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Sarah Morton
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar

University of Wyoming—Biology Major

Sponsored by Cheyenne, Wyo., Lodge No. 660

Having started her first job at just 12-years-old, Sarah Morton understands the meaning of hard work.
After a busy high school career, Sarah shows no signs of slowing down. She jumped head first into all her university has to offer.

Even before classes started Sarah was involved with the university’s Outdoor Program, where she met fellow freshman and enjoyed Wyoming’s natural beauty during a weeklong backpacking trip. She continues to hike and enjoy the outdoors on a regular basis.

On campus, Sarah became a freshman senator for the university’s student government, reviewing legislation and planning events and programs for the enjoyment of her fellow students. She also promotes student well-being by participating in Real Women Real Bodies, a university organization that promotes positive body image among students through campus-wide campaigns.
She is also involved with the Pre-Med Club, which will not only keep her on track for medical school but also allows her to raise awareness for conditions from breast cancer to Alzheimer’s.

In the future, she will continue to help others through her hard work and commitment to excellence. After obtaining her biology degree, Sarah will pursue her graduate degree in optometry and hopes to ultimately open her own office focusing on children’s vision health.

“I am incredibly honored to be recognized by a group that promotes stronger communities, helps youth, and supports veterans,” says Sarah. “Being an Elks scholar means that I am a role model who promotes being a positive and active community member.”

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. This year, the ENF 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.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Chloe Johnson
2014 Legacy Awards Recipient

Middlebury College

Sponsored by Burlington, Vt., Lodge No. 916


Through academics, athletics and community service, Elks scholars are inspiring people all over the country. For Chloe Johnson, she inspires young women in her community to lead full and active lives.

Involved in dance since childhood, Chloe is now a member of the Northern Vermont Ballet Company, where she’s held lead and supporting roles in the company’s ballet performances. She also inspires a love for ballet in children, working as an instructor for the school’s youth ballet classes.

Aside from dance, Chloe inspires young girls to become actively involved in their communities. She founded the Be YourSELF Mentoring Program for elementary and middle school girls to encourage them to lead healthy lives through community service, environmental awareness, leadership and fitness.

Though the program began locally, Chloe hopes to expand and involve other high school and college women in promoting these values to young girls in their communities.

Besides continuing to inspire young girls, Chloe is pursuing a degree in chemistry or mathematics and continue helping others by getting either a graduate degree in physical therapy or becoming a pediatrician.

“Being an Elks scholar means being a leader, both academically and throughout the community,” says Chloe. “Elks scholars are students who actively pursue knowledge and seek to better the world.”

With her ability to inspire others and the assistance of her Elks scholarship, Chloe is poised to better the world, one girl at a time.

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, November 7, 2014

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Casey Boyle
2014 Legacy Awards Recipient  

University of Wisconsin-Madison—Engineering Major

Sponsored by Clarksburg, W. Va., Lodge No. 482


Casey Boyle enjoys being among others who share his dedication to leadership, community service and giving back. As a member of the Elks family, Casey feels right at home.

After years of volunteering to help his community, Casey was selected as a representative for Badger Boys State—a summer leadership program for Wisconsin high school students, focusing on leadership, teamwork and government processes.

Besides learning about the workings of government, Casey was inspired by being with peers who shared the same passions, goals and dedication to community.

“I became aware of the potential impact that a group of young leaders could have within communities, across our state, and potentially in the country,” explains Casey.

As an Elks scholar and member of the Elks family, Casey has again joined a like-minded group of leaders, working to create stronger communities nationwide.

He is excited to continue his lifelong relationship with his Elks family. He regularly participated in the Elks Hoop Shoot growing up and plans to volunteer at a local Hoop Shoot contest soon.

“It was such an honor to have been selected as a Legacy scholarship recipient,” says Casey. “Being an Elks scholar means being a person of the highest character, being a person who reaches out to help build others up, and being a person who fellow students, friends and family can look up to.”

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.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Seeing Scholars in the Steel City

by ENF Programs Coordinator Ashley Brown



Pittsburgh may be known as the city of bridges and steel, but it could also be known as a city of Elks scholars, many of whom attend the city’s numerous universities.

As this was my first opportunity to travel on behalf of the Elks National Foundation, I was incredibly excited to learn how to best serve our scholars to ensure their scholarships aided them in achieving their educational goals.

Programs Relationship Associate Anne Stretz and I recently visited the Steel City to attend the National Scholarship Providers Association’s annual conference. While we spent the days learning how to best serve and engage our scholars, we were able to spend some time connecting with our Pittsburgh scholars over dinner at a local restaurant.

I was looking forward to putting faces with names and meeting the scholars whose goals we were helping to make possible. It was an amazing opportunity to connect and learn about what they are involved in and their plans for the future.

They ranged from freshmen to seniors and came from multiple universities. Legacy scholar Danielle Richetelli and Most Valuable Student scholar Mark Jordan, who are both freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, spoke about their first few weeks at their new university. Mark was lucky enough to score a spot in the university’s newest dorm, making Danielle a jealous fellow freshman!

Lauren Drumm, a senior Most Valuable Student scholar representing Duquesne University, regaled us with stories of her recent study abroad experience in Iceland, where she hiked up mountains and swam in glacial waters. Back home in New Jersey, her mother was inspired to join the local Elks Lodge (more to follow on that story!).

Several senior scholars who were looking forward to their journeys after college also joined us.

After four years of studying computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon, Most Valuable Student scholar Ian Glasner is looking forward to a career at Google in his home state of California—that is after he makes it through his last few rounds of final exams!

Fellow Carnegie Mellon senior and Emergency Educational Grant recipient Anna Vande Velde enjoys her time studying psychology, accomplishing a high GPA in between working her four part-time jobs. With her senior year in progress, Anna is getting ready to apply to graduate school. She ultimately plans to help people through a doctorate in clinical psychology.

While they attend different colleges, with varying majors, interests, and career aspirations, they all had one thing in common—the support of their Elks family.

Visiting Pittsburgh was an incredible opportunity to see the profound impact ENF scholarships have on the lives of our scholars. With knowledge gained and fond memories of time with my Elks family, I am excited to continue helping Elks build stronger communities, one scholar at a time.

In 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation appropriated $4.06 million to fund the ENF scholarship program, which provides college scholarships, ensuring a bright future for our nation’s youth. Today’s Elks scholars can be tomorrow’s Elks. Be sure to include Elks scholars from your Lodge in Lodge events and service projects. For more information about our scholarship programs, and for ways Lodges can get involved with Elks scholars, visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Finding the Balance

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.


It’s a common notion among college students that we can only pick two of the following three things: academics, extracurriculars, and social life. Here at Penn State, like people at every other university, some pick only extracurriculars and social life, trying to enjoy themselves as much as possible in the four years that we have as undergraduates. On the other hand, some pick only academics and extracurriculars, trying to build a solid resume that will bring them future success. Finally, there are some brave souls who dare to pick all three.

Since coming to college, I’ve had to make some crucial decisions. The amount of in-class hours is significantly less from high school to college. However, the amount of out-of-class studying required is significantly higher.  All of the time in between these two things, however, is up to each individual to delegate to each activity, whether extracurricular or social.

My true passion is dance, and I have joined three dance establishments: Ghaam, the garba-raas team, salsa, and belly dancing. This makes for five practices a week, which keeps me busy and gives me a good outlet from studying. Additionally, I joined the South Asian Student Association in order to meet other Indian people and keep in touch with my culture. With a student base of 40,000 people here at Penn State, meeting people is not at all difficult. Some of my best nights here were spent eating, dancing, and just talking with my floor mates into the early hours of the night (of course, we all regretted this when we were unable to wake up for our 8 a.m. Chem class the next morning).

All the while, as an Elks scholar, I am making a difference in my community and working to fulfill my duties as the freshman representative of the Elks Scholar Advisory Board. I hope all my fellow Elks scholars are enjoying their time in college, finding that balance between academics, extracurriculars, and social life, and staying true to themselves and their roots. So, fellow Elks scholars, how do you find time to balance your academic and social live at school? Post in the comments below to let me know. Until next month!

Anjithaa Radakrishnan
Elks Scholar Advisory Board Freshman Representative
Pennsylvania State University

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Elks Community Builder


An Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant has helped the Elks find the right balance. Using its Beacon Grant, Blue Springs, Mo., Lodge No. 2509 partnered with a local nursing home to provide fall prevention classes for residents, helping them prevent injuries. For each therapy session, Elks set up the classroom, served as spotters, and assisted the instructor with client evaluations.

Thanks to this beneficial program, residents’ balance has improved, helping them feel safer and steadier in their homes.

“I tested much better at the end of the program than at the initial evaluation,” says one client.

Through Beacon Grants, the Elks National Foundation 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.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Haley Strouf
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar

Massachusetts Institute of Technology—Bioengineering Major

Sponsored by Rice Lake, Wis., Lodge No. 1441


“I pride myself on my identity as an active member of my school and community,” says Haley Strouf.

Her numerous involvements from athletics to volunteering allow Haley to develop her identity as a dedicated and passionate individual, an identity she will continue to cultivate in the years ahead.

In high school, Haley honed her leadership skills as the captain of her swimming, gymnastics and track teams, while also serving as vice-president for her senior class and the National Honor Society. Amid her leadership roles, Haley also cultivated a love of helping others, by volunteering as a math tutor and mentoring elementary children.

As she looks forward to her future, Haley plans to continue to stay involved and assist others. After graduating and pursuing graduate school, Haley hopes to become a bio-engineer and design prosthesis, helping those restricted through amputation achieve fuller lives.

Her new identity as an Elks scholar will ensure she achieves her goals with the help of her Elks family.

“Being an Elks scholar is both exciting and meaningful,” says Haley. “My identity as an Elks scholar is a constant reminder of the numerous ways I can benefit others.”

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. This year, the ENF 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.