Monday, February 28, 2011

Academics, activities and achievements. Oh my!

By Anne Shields, Programs Relationship Associate

Anne, hard at work entering the
2011 MVS National Finalists' information. 
“Do you have any boxes under your desk?”
“No–why?”
“A whole lot of MVS scholarship applications were just delivered and I need a place to put them.”

If you were to stop by my desk this week, you might have overheard this conversation several times. Programs Assistant Brianne Menges and I have been wading through boxes upon boxes of Most Valuable Student National Finalists applications that are pouring in from across the country.

The applications are pouring in!
Our adjoining office space looks more like a UPS warehouse than a workspace, but we don’t mind. See, we’re charged with receiving the 500 Most Valuable Student National Finalist applications and entering the students’ data into our system. All this has to be done in a short time frame as the state judging ended on February 16, and we must have the information entered by February 25—just in time to notify the anxious applicants.

I know that this might not sound like an ideal day at the office, but we’re loving it because each application amazes us more than the next! These students manage to get perfect SAT scores while volunteering hundreds of hours and working several days a week. They are Eagle Scouts and Gold Award recipients, National Merit Finalists, team captains, and National Honor Society presidents. They have taken part in countless activities, received numerous awards, and are headed to the best colleges in the country.

Brianne enters information from one
of 500 outstanding applications.
It’s truly amazing to see how hard these high school seniors have worked the past four years, and it’s even more exciting to think about where they will be in four more. While Brianne and I scramble to get the last few entered, we know all the work is well worth it when the ENF awards the class of 2011 MVS scholarships to these deserving students. 

Every time I enter a student’s name, I wonder if this will be one of the $60,000 top prize winners. I can’t wait to find out in April!

In 2010-11, the Elks National Foundation allocated $2.296 million to fund the Most Valuable Student Scholarships. For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, please visit our website.

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