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Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Sophia Scalise 2014 Legacy Awards Recipient
University of Arkansas—Biological Engineering Major

Sponsored by Fayetteville-Springdale, Ark., Lodge No. 1987


Elks scholars are known for their hard work and dedication to excellence. Sophia Scalise is no exception.

In high school, Sophia was involved in numerous activities, including playing varsity tennis, participating in school musicals, working as a lifeguard, and volunteering at her church and the local animal shelter.

Besides her commitment to her extracurricular involvement and community service, Sophia also achieved academically, taking AP classes, becoming a member of the National Honor Society, and graduating first in her class.

Now in college, Sophia studies hard for her biology courses and has also found time to become involved on campus. Her new involvements include club tennis, joining Phi Mu, and Residents Interhall Congress Judiciary, a branch of the university’s student government.

While her eyes are set on her future, So…

Success in Springfield

by Programs Assistant Sarah Louderman
Due to my brother’s poor timing picking a wedding date, I unfortunately did not have the chance to attend the Elks National Convention in New Orleans this past summer. Thankfully though, the Elks National Foundation was invited to attend the Illinois Elks Convention. The IEA wants to encourage more Lodges to apply for Community Investments Program grants, so our two-person grant department of Programs Associate, Mary Morgan, and I traveled to Springfield for the weekend.

Mary and I arrived in Springfield late Friday morning and were greeted by many friendly Elks who helped us set up a conference room for office hours. We held office hours and assisted visitors with general information about the Community Investments Program. Afterwards, we walked to the Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library and spent the end of the afternoon touring the spectacular exhibits and perusing the gift shop.

Once we returned from our museum visit, we went to the top floor o…

An Education In and Out of the Classroom

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! Hope everything is going well for my fellow Elks scholars, and everyone is as happy as I am to finally be going home for Thanksgiving. I’d like to highlight a few important things I’ve learned this month, in the classroom setting, on the extracurricular front, and in an incredible lecture I watched from a guest speaker.

In sociology class, we are learning about ethnocentrism—how we tend to see our own culture as the central crux of the world. Our teacher showed us videos of life in other countries, such as a woman eating bugs in China. I saw a video of a Chinese woman eating a live frog. My class was simply stunned, which my teache…

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 invol…

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…

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 com…

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…

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 sign…

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.

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, helpin…

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Harrison Williams
2014 Lester and Marion Bacon Most Valuable Student Scholar
Georgia Institute of Technology—Engineering Major

Sponsored by Springfield, Ill., Lodge No. 158


To excel in athletics, academics and community service, one must be dedicated. At a young age, Harrison Williams learned dedication and discipline through wrestling and translated these values into helping others.

Following in his family’s footsteps, Harrison started wrestling in third grade. Through the encouragement of his coaches, Harrison became a dedicated athlete and eventually became team captain, lettered all four years, and won numerous honors at the state level.

Yet his accomplishments go far beyond the wrestling mat. The discipline, ambition and dedication he learned turned into a commitment to academic excellence and serving his community.

“The impact wrestling had is motivation toward community service,” says Harrison. “Once I realized how many people had helped me, I decided to pass my blessings to the co…

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Carly Grimes
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar
Pomona College—Environmental Analysis Major

Sponsored by Venice-Nokomis, Fla., Lodge No. 1854


Elks scholars have a knack for using their passion to help others. This is certainly true for Carly Grimes, who plans to combine her passion for law and the environment to promote changes in environmental policy.

In high school, Carly volunteered for Teen Court as an attorney, representing teens that had run into trouble with local law enforcement. In addition to improving her public speaking skills and developing a passion for law, Carly served as a positive role model for her peers, encouraging them to make better decisions in the future.

Since middle school she has also volunteered with the Wyland Foundation, engaging communities nationwide in environmental initiatives and educating them on the importance of oceanic preservation. Because of her dedication, Carly was chosen as the first Youth Ambassador for the Planet, speaking to communities abou…

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Jasmine Ford 2014 Legacy Awards Recipient
Gonzaga University—Nursing Major

Sponsored by Tillamook, Ore., Lodge No. 1437

Jasmine Ford has a passion for building community by helping others.

In between varsity track meets and organizing events for National Honor Society in high school, Jasmine found time to give back in countless ways. Every week, she volunteered for her church’s Sunday school, teaching and spending time with community children. She also worked as a soccer referee and as a youth staff member at the local YMCA. In addition, she suffered through bone chilling temperatures in Hope on the Slopes, a day-long ski marathon to benefit cancer research.

“I love giving back to the community through committed volunteer work,” says Jasmine.

As a college student, Jasmine eagerly jumped into volunteering by living in a service-oriented residence hall. In her first week, Jasmine volunteered to help build a hiking trail to benefit the community.

She will continue helping others in he…

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Marisa Pia Kwiatkowski   
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar Stanford University

Sponsored by Santa Clara, Calif., Lodge No. 2347


After years on the track and field team, Marisa Pia Kwiatkowski can go the distance. Besides her athletic pursuits, Marisa has spent many hours as a swim instructor and lifeguard, teaching children water safety and swimming techniques.

She has also spent time as a tutor and babysitter, all of which has given her a love of working with children. In college, Marisa plans to study education or business management, and plans to work her way from teacher to principal, becoming a force in education policy and improving students’ experiences.

“I hope to make a difference by uniting my community,” says Marisa. “I believe that a united group of people can work toward helping the less fortunate.”

With her passion for helping others and her Elks scholarship, Marisa will be able to help many children through her future endeavors.

“Being an Elks scholar is a true honor…

On Fireworks and Being a Freshmen

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.

    During this past summer, while the rest of the soon-to-be college freshman were busy hanging out with their friends and enjoying the presence of their families, I was in a small study lounge on my floor, busily typing away Biology notes, speeches, and English essays on my laptop. I attended Penn State’s summer session, a necessary component of my six year premedical-medical program through Jefferson Medical School. This summer introduced me to brand-new experiences. The most memorable of these was the 4th of July weekend.

    On the 4th of July, thousands of people arrived at Beaver Stadium to watch the light display to come. The entire com…

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Tanner Snider 2014 Legacy Awards Recipient 
Indiana University - Bloomington—Finance Major

Sponsored by Vincennes, Ind., Lodge No. 291


After working for years on the family farm, Tanner Snider knows the meaning of hard work. Coupled with his business acumen, he will take his work ethic from the barn to the board room, as he prepares to study business and finance this fall.

After college, Tanner hopes to obtain a master’s degree and work in finance before climbing the corporate ladder to become a CEO. 

While his sights are on the future, Tanner knows the importance of serving others and creating a positive impact in his community today. In high school, he founded and led the Down with Depression program to advocate for depression awareness. Through many hours of fundraising and planning, Tanner spoke to thousands of students in his community about the warning signs and effects of depression and the importance of suicide prevention.

Through continued advocacy in college and beyond, Tanner …

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Tara Chattoraj
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar 
University of Chicago—Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry Major

Sponsored by Wheaton, Ill., Lodge No. 2258


“Since my synapses first began to form, I have wanted not only to amass knowledge, but to create it,” says Tara Chattoraj.

Her involvements throughout high school allowed her to learn, create, and share her knowledge with others.

Tara, who is interested in a career in medical physics, advanced her knowledge as an intern at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. She built modules to help regulate the accelerator, worked in physics labs, and programmed solar panels. In addition, she has also published numerous articles in textbooks and literary magazines.

She is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. In her free time, she tutors children at a local shelter, assists students with test preparation, teaches the violin, and works as a karate instructor at a martial arts studio, where she is a second degree black belt.

“Being an …

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Laura Chelgren 2014 Legacy Awards Recipient George Washington University—Political Science Major

Sponsored by Punxsutawney, Pa., Lodge No. 301

Elks scholars have a myriad of interests, which they pursue with passion on their journey from high school to college and beyond. For Laura Chelgren, her journey is taking her from the local theater stage onto the world stage, as she pursues a career in politics and an interest in travel.

In high school Laura was involved with her high school’s drama club and volunteered regularly with local theater companies. Besides serving as an officer for drama club, Laura created rehearsal schedules, helped with props and costumes, and helped cast members learn their lines. She also held the lead roles in several plays with community theaters.

After years on the theater stage, Laura is looking forward to expanding her horizons by traveling through Greece and Italy this summer, after traveling through Australia and New Zealand the previous year. Her internati…

Meet the ENF Staff

Bill Donnelly Development Coordinator 
How long have you worked at the ENF?
One month.

What projects are you/your department working on right now?

I am currently being trained, working on a variety of different projects and learning everything I can about the ENF.

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?

Coming in everyday and being able to work with my friends.

Describe your average day at the ENF.
I spend a good amount of time answering phones and emails, and the rest of it in trainings and meetings. I learn something new here every single day.

What are you looking forward to this summer?

This summer is going to be filled with BBQ’s, concerts, festivals and beach trips.

What’s one thing about you that might surprise people?

I love to play lacrosse.

If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Benjamin Franklin. He was one of the smartest men, and one of the most important men in United States history. I would be fascinated to pick his brain.

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Alison Masson 2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar
Washington and Lee University—Political Science Major

Sponsored by Sussex, N.J., Lodge No. 2288


Being leaders in both academics and service is natural for Elks scholars. For Alison Masson, her leadership is bound together with her commitment to humanitarian initiatives and community service.

Besides being active in 4-H and mock trial, Alison found time to be the president of her school’s chapter of Pass It Along, a community organization that serves those in need in northern New Jersey. As president, she organized events to bring Christmas gifts and cheer to local children.

Alison’s experience with service and leadership led her to participate in Camp Rising Sun, an international program for students to learn about themselves and other cultures, and hone their skills as leaders dedicated to service. The following summer, she became a mentor, organizing programs, providing feedback, and encouraging girls as they learned leadership skills roo…

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Jerome, Ariz., Lodge No. 1361

Jeans? $13. T-shirt? $7. Gym shoes? $14. Providing clothes for youth in need? Priceless.

Using an Elks National Foundation Promise Grant, Jerome, Ariz., Lodge No. 1361 took 26 local students back-to-school shopping. The Lodge partnered with teachers in the community to determine which students would most benefit from new school clothes, and then they were off to the store! Elks shopped with the students to buy what they needed—from socks to dresses.

“The students ranged from 4-years-old to 14-years-old,” says Community Investments Program Project Manager Janet Leuer. “They were all very excited to have new clothes to start school.”

Interested in serving local youth in need? Don’t wait to apply for a Promise Grant! These $2,000 grants are going quickly—fewer than half are still available! Click here for full Promise Grant details, including access to the online application.

Elks are committed to America’s future. To build the character and competence of loca…

Meet the ENF Staff

Christine Robinson Donor Services Assistant
How long have you worked at the ENF?
I’ve worked at the ENF for four months.

What projects are you/your department working on right now?
Donor Services is busy processing donations. I’m running the individual cumulative recognition process this week. Every donor who has met a new level of giving will be receiving their recognition—either a pin or a pin and certificate—in the mail within the next two weeks. 

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?
I love the chances I get to interact with Elks—helping donors who may need a replacement pin, assisting ENF Fundraising Chairs who have questions about how to submit names with remittances, and seeing just how generous the Elks are. I started in March, and was blown away by the generosity of the Elks. I thoroughly enjoy sending out the monthly recognition.

Describe your average day at the ENF.
My day always starts with a cup of coffee. Then it depends on the day. If it is a Monday, I print out…

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Xavier Shiu   
2014 Legacy Awards Recipient
Case Western Reserve University—Biomedical Engineering Major
Sponsored by Sioux City, Iowa, Lodge No. 112


Empowering others to believe in themselves is a goal of Xavier Shiu. He achieved this by incorporating his love of science into community service.

An integral part of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Youth Advisory Board, Xavier helps plan science lectures and summer activities for hundreds of under-served students, promoting an interest in health and science careers.

Xavier also developed and coordinated an outdoor exercise program for neighborhood children, to keep them active by making exercise fun and helping them build friendships.

“They never wanted to go in for the evening,” he remembers.

Xavier is looking forward to his studies and plans to use his education to help advance the field of mechanical medical devices, such as surgical robots to help improve the impact of medicine.

“Being an Elks scholar makes me feel like th…

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Victoria Crynes 2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar
Arizona State University—Global Politics with Pre-Law Major

Sponsored by Sapulpa, Okla., Lodge No. 1118


Elks scholars know the importance of helping their local communities. They also know it’s important to be responsible global citizens. For Victoria Crynes, both come naturally.

In high school, Victoria sent care packages to soldiers stationed overseas, spent many hours tutoring students, and developed educational curriculum on college readiness for at-risk youth. These college-prep workshops aimed to minimize the student dropout rate and earned Victoria a Girl Scout Gold Award.

In addition to her community service, Victoria cultivated an interest in politics and other cultures by hosting foreign exchange students, spending time on political campaigns, and shadowing judges and corporate attorneys to learn more about the legal profession. She plans to combine these interests in a future career as an international lawyer and then an ambas…

Double your Gift. Strengthen your Community.

If you could double your gift to the ENF without personally giving twice as much, would you do it?  With more than 19,000 companies offering a matching gift program, there’s a good chance you could double the impact of your donation by requesting a matching gift through your employer. To learn more about matching gifts, we asked Donor Services Associate Jon Flaherty to answer some frequently asked questions about company-sponsored matching gift programs.  Here’s what he had to say.

Q. What is a matching gift?
    A.  It’s when an employer will match a donation dollar-for-dollar to an organization.

Q. What is a volunteer grant?
    A. It’s when a company will match volunteer hours with a check to the ENF. When employees volunteer at the Lodge, they record their hours volunteered and turn them into their employer. Then, their company matches the time volunteered by writing a check to the ENF.

Q. How do I know if my employer does matching gifts?
    A. There are several ways to find out.  Th…

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Kayleigh Arcos
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar