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Showing posts from 2015

My Path to the Elks National Foundation

by Chelsea Dennis
Programs Assistant

I don’t know about you, but the last few months of 2015 have been a whirlwind for me! On September 7th I ended my last day as an AmeriCorps member and started my first course in graduate school that same evening. A week later I found out that I was hired by the Elks National Foundation! Honestly it's been a lot to take in at once, but luckily the holidays have served as a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the past few months. Now that I’m settled into my new role as a Programs Assistant in the Community Investment Programs office, I finally feel like I have a grasp on things. Before moving to Chicago and ultimately working at the ENF, I served as a corps member with City Year Washington, DC (CYDC), a nonprofit that works to combat the drop out crisis. In my role as a corps member I taught English/Language Arts and Mathematics to 5th grade students at risk of falling off track and organized events such as AttenDances to get students excite…

The 12 Days of Elks Scholar Service Trips

by Maryann Slater
Programs Relationship Associate
Elks scholars now have the opportunity to come together in service with their Elks scholar peers. These trips will offer the opportunity to learn about societal issues, serve those in need in the name of the Elks, and the chance for Elks scholars and Elks to connect with their Elks Family across the country. To read more posts about the service trips, click here

12 #ElksFamily T-Shirts
- A staple of any Elks Scholar Service Trip, you can find these snazzy shirts that read “We Are #ElksFamily” on all of the Elks scholars throughout the week of a trip.

11 Cell Phones Resting
- The Elks Scholar Service Trips allow for students to become “unplugged” for the week during service and activities which allow them to take a rest from their studies and take advantage of new experiences and opportunities. Take it from Spencer Fricke, 2014 Legacy scholar who attended the Summer 2015 Trip-“It was an eye opening week and it’s great to get unplugged …

Bring us a figgy pudding… 
and some better singing

by Kate Keating Edsey, Development Manager
Elks National Foundation
2015 marks my eighth Elks National Foundation holiday season--and my eighth stint as an ENF caroler. I’m not a singer, as anyone who has heard me will attest, but I enjoy Jim O’Kelley’s annual tradition of the ENF staff coming together on the morning of our staff holiday party to delight the Elks headquarters staff with our tunes. Five years ago some of our staff put together a caroling video to share with friends of the Foundation--some practice, some chaos, and borrowed construction lights from the Elks Veterans Memorial resulted in this masterpiece. This year, the ENF carolers are again featured on a video, and also the December Midday podcast. For those of you who aren’t Middies, Midday is now recorded and produced with the help of our new friends at Tribeca Flashpoint College in Chicago’s Loop. We packed up most of our carolers and headed downtown with excitement to meet the professionals and students who wo…

Ten Things on Every Northwestern Student’s Christmas List

By 2015 Most Valuable Student Scholarship Recipient and Elks Scholar Advisory Board Member Jessica Carter
As my first quarter comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on all of the amazing experiences I’ve had at Northwestern so far. Now that I am more familiar with campus, I’ve compiled a list of the things that NU students, and Elks scholars across the country, will need in the coming quarters. Things I’m sure you will find on all Wildcats’ Christmas lists.

1. A camera to capture all of the memories you’ll want to remember forever. One of my favorite things about NU is that there is ALWAYS something to do. The best event this past quarter was the Residential College Formal. My friends and I got all dressed up and went to Navy Pier for a night of dancing and amazing food (truffle mac and cheese and jumbo crab cakes were on the menu so amazing might be an understatement).

My First Hoop Shoot

by Youth Programs Associate Billy Donnelly
I have been the Youth Programs Associate at the Elks National Foundation for over four months now. The last four months of my life have been dedicated to the Hoop Shoot. I get to talk about the Hoop Shoot all day. On the phone, in meetings, in passing small talk. I tell my friends and family about the Hoop Shoot and all of the exciting things that we are planning for the 2016 Hoop Shoot National Finals in Chicago. The website that I visit most is not Facebook, ESPN or even my email, it is www.elks.org/hoopshoot. I drink my morning coffee out of my Hoop Shoot mug.

I thought that with all of this Hoop Shoot exposure, I was an expert. I thought I knew everything there was to know. But guess what—I was wrong. The only way to truly know what a Hoop Shoot is like, is to attend a contest.

I got my first taste of a real Hoop Shoot on a recent Saturday morning. My Lodge, Chicago Northshore, Ill., Lodge No. 1316, holds its Hoop Shoot contest in Chicago…

Overdoing Grit?

by Jim O'Kelley, Director
Elks National Foundation
Early last summer, my mother-in-law, who watches the kids two days a week, took Patrick, the 3-year-old, to a reading at our local library. While there, Pack (that's what we call him) did something to earn her praise. Admittedly, that's not hard. She is a grandmother. Nevertheless, she was impressed and showed it by saying, "Good job!" That simple, seemingly innocuous phrase earned the instructor's condemnation. The woman swooped in, her finger wagging. "You shouldn't tell a child 'good job,'" she chastised. "It sets them up for a lifetime of seeking affirmation and praise." "Well, then what am I supposed to say?" asked my incredulous mother-in-law. "You should say, 'You worked hard, and you did it,'" the woman answered. We all had a good laugh later that day when my mother-in-law recounted the story. A funny thing happened when I started pra…