Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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 teacher pointed out was an example of how sometimes, we get so absorbed in our own culture and what we know and think is right, that we can’t comprehend that there are other ways of living.

Last weekend, my dance team performed together for the first time. We bought yards of fabric and made skirts, and wore a lot of stage makeup. We even put blush and eyeliner on the boys! The performance itself was amazing. Afterwards, the four teams: Ghaam, the garba-raas team, Jadhoom, the fusion team, Natya, the classical dance team, and Fanaa, the acapella team, had a social. Dance and the associated community is quickly becoming a huge part of my life here at Penn State. In the past, I’ve only danced solo, so this past weekend I learned how exhilarating performing with a group of people that you love and share your passions can be.

I also just attended a lecture given by Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Malala and co-founder of the Malala Fund. His daughter was shot in the face after showing her support for women’s education. He was simply awe-inspiring; his wit, humility, and perceptiveness depict an honest, yet optimistic view of humankind. All of the people in his audience left with a new-found respect and gratitude for our education, when only 1 in 10 women in Kenya are able to attend school. As I walked away from that lecture hall, my first thought was, “Wow, women in other locales don’t even have the chance to be educated like I do.” My second thought? “Hmm, I probably should stop skipping my 8am Chem class….”  :)

I hope college has been as enlightening for others as it has been for me. Post in the comments with your experiences and funny stories. Until next time!

Anjithaa Radakrishnan
Elks Scholar Advisory Board Freshman Representative
Pennsylvania State University

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.