Friday, January 30, 2015

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Kylie Lan Tumiatti
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar

Seton Hall University — Diplomacy and International Relations

Sponsored by Melbourne, Fla., Lodge No. 1744


Adopted as an infant from a Chinese orphanage, Kylie Lan Tumiatti has overcome many obstacles to become a passionate and driven individual. Though she spent years recovering from her first few months, Kylie never let it hold her back. She became involved in community service early on.

In high school, she combined her love of reading and knowledge of the difficulties of learning English as a second language into a unique community service project. She partnered with a local nonprofit to create a literacy program for the children of migrant workers. Over the past six years, Kylie has raised funds, created activities and plays to help students learn, and recorded stories so students could practice at home with their families. She continues to use technology to aid in English knowledge and plans to expand the program even further. 

“I wanted to teach these children to speak and read English so they could excel,” says Kylie, who was inspired by her younger sister, who also struggled in school after being adopted from China.

Kylie has won numerous prestigious awards which honor her dedication to improving the lives of others. These include ESPN 18 Girls Under 18, the Teen Nick HALO Awards, the Nestle Very Best in Youth Award, and the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

In college, Kylie’s passion for giving back continues to grow. She now works with the university’s Division of Volunteer Efforts, where she coordinates volunteers for service programs and takes weekly groups to visit residents at a center for individuals with developmental disabilities and the local library to read to children.

“My adoptive parents instilled in me the importance of family, faith, education and giving back,” says Kylie. “These goals help me to be a role model and someone the Elks are proud to have sponsored.”

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. For 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation 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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Elks Community Builder

Clayton, N.J., Lodge No. 2132
What are you doing this Friday? Elks from Clayton, N.J., Lodge No. 2132 will be dancing the night away!

Using its Elks National Foundation Promise Grant, Clayton Elks held a dinner and dance party for the
Friday Fanatics—a group of local teens with disabilities.

“One of the project’s successes is seeing the opportunity for the children to enjoy a wonderful dinner and party,” says CIP Project Manager Bill Oakley. “Without the Elks, this party would not be possible.”


Elks are committed to America’s future. To build the character and competence of local youth, the Elks National Foundation awards $2,000 Promise Grants to the first 500 Lodges that pledge to host an eligible youth event. To find out more about Promise Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Finals Week and High School Visits

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! The last few weeks between Thanksgiving break and Winter Break were mostly centered on studying for finals. Studying for finals in college and high school are two completely different ballgames. In high school, I would stay at home and make my own study guides, maybe occasionally study with a friend over the phone. In college, I’ve never seen as many of my friends grouped in one place as during finals week. Whether I went to the study lounge, library, or even dining hall, there were swarms of people loudly engaging in group study. It was really the first time that I started studying in a group setting, and I learned how useful it actually is! Bouncing ideas off one another and learning from each other’s mistakes, we somehow got each other through that week.

However, the highlight of my Winter Break was returning to my high school. A group of alums met in the school gym and were each assigned to a different classroom to discuss our college experiences. Even though I wasn’t particularly close to the alums in my room, I felt a sort of companionship with them, knowing that we all had the mutual experience of a Bishop Guertin High School education. I looked out into the class of current seniors, remembering how I was in the same exact position only a year ago. I thought of all of the things I had learned in my first semester of college.

Each person discussed a different aspect of his or her college experience that affected them. The one that stood out to me most was socially. Having been an utter and complete nerd in high school, I used to think that the most important part of my education was what I learned in the classroom. I discussed in my last post how my education since coming to Penn State has truly branched out beyond the classroom. Sharing this knowledge with others added a whole new dimension to its truth. Afterwards, we had spare time to go through the school and visit our favorite teachers. Here is a picture of me with my favorite teacher, Mr. Galotta. Throughout my four years of high school, Mr. Galotta was somewhat of a grandfather to me, and words can’t describe how happy I was to see him again.

All in all, my first semester was truly amazing and I have just returned to school, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do it all over again! I hope all of the other Elks scholars have had (or are still having, if you’re lucky) a delightful and relaxing Winter Break, and return to school refreshed! Be prepared to take what you learned from last semester and apply it to make an even more rewarding next semester!

Anjithaa Radakrishnan
Elks Scholar Advisory Board Freshman Representative
Pennsylvania State University

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Katharine Bryan
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar

University of Rhode Island—Civil Engineering and German

Sponsored by Sierra Vista, Ariz., Lodge No. 2065


Like her fellow Elks scholars, Katharine Bryan takes advantage of opportunities presented to her, using them to better herself and her community.

In high school, Katharine took advantage of numerous leadership opportunities, such as being Class President, present of her school’s academic team, captain of the tennis team, as well as state president of financial for the Arizona chapter of Future Business Leaders of America.

Besides gaining public speaking and teamwork skills, Katharine also made a positive difference with her involvement. She led a community service project to benefit the local animal shelter, including building maintenance, animal care, fundraising, and advocacy. Her project was recognized nationally at the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference.

As she adjusts to the colder temperatures of Rhode Island, Katharine is taking advantage of all college has to offer. She attends German movie nights with classmates to supplement her studies and is looking forward to studying abroad in future years. She also won a seat in the student senate and volunteers with the university’s community service club. In preparation for her future career, she is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

“College is so enjoyable and I am extremely thankful to the Elks for helping me chase my dreams,” says Katharine. “I am honored to be a part of this family.”
   
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. For 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation 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.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Shawon Huang   
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar

University of Southern California—Business Administration Major

Sponsored by Santa Ana, Calif., Lodge No. 794


Shawon Huang knows the meaning of loyalty, dedication and patriotism.

Besides being involved in marching band and community service, Shawon has dedicated much of his time to the Infantry Explorers, a group that prepares interested young men and women for careers in the Armed Forces. He served as both founder and a team leader in multiple battalions. He also founded and led his high school’s JROTC program, preparing both him and others to serve their country.

“Infantry Explorers has allowed me not only to improve myself but improve others as well,” says Shawon.

Shawon hopes his civilian and military education will enable him to become an effective and influential leader. After college, he plans to become a military officer in the U.S. Army, utilizing his years of training and hard work throughout high school and college.

“Being an Elks scholar means being a representative for the future,” says Shawon. “To aim higher, dream bigger, go farther—I have an even better opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives.”

With his optimism and dedication to his country, we know Shawon will have a positive impact in college and beyond.

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. For 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation 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.