Friday, May 22, 2015

May Director's Update

By Elks National Foundation Director Jim O'Kelley
 
This month’s Midday with the ENF, our podcast about the Elks National Foundation, features a must-listen interview with Bryce Caswell and Sean Loosli.

To refresh your memory, Bryce and Sean were the top two Most Valuable Student scholarship recipients back in 2003. Here’s a photo of the two of them at the Elks National Convention in St. Louis, along with Meghan and me and also Robin Edison, who used to work with us.
Robin Edison, Sean Loosli, Bryce Caswell, Meghan Morgan and Jim O'Kelley
at the 2003 Elks National Convention in St. Louis
It was taken after they had blown everyone away with their speeches.

They left town that day with $60,000 scholarships, both headed to Harvard.

Fast forward 12 years. The two of them were with us recently for our second Leadership Weekend. Here’s what we look like now:
Sean, Bryce, Meghan and Jim
Sean and Bryce served on the judging panels for the interviews and were two of the six current and former Elks scholars who helped make the weekend a success. Officially, these six were judges, chaperones, film directors and leaders, but they also served as mentors for the new scholars.

We’ve been focusing our scholar outreach on engagement with Elks Lodges. We want you Elks to get our scholars involved in meaningful ways. As we’ve seen, if you can connect with a scholar one-on-one, our organization will become more than just a check to them and they will want to join us. (Related: Check out this post from another scholar who has joined the Elks.)

We will continue to stress engagement with Elks, but the Leadership Weekend along with the upcoming Scholar Service Trips are creating new opportunities to connect scholars with one another and establish not just friendships but also mentoring relationships. That’s really exciting.

At one point during the interview, Bryce talks about how much the 20 new scholars inspired her, and she says, “We’re going to hear about these students for the next 40 years in our country.”

Elks scholars are among our country’s best and brightest. They’re the movers and shakers of their generation. Now, imagine what it could do for the Elks brand if being an Elks scholar becomes as much a part of their identity as where they went to college and what they achieve.

That’s what we’re trying to accomplish, and we can get there by continuing to build a strong scholar network.

Listen to the interview. It will make you feel good about what we’re doing with your donations. You can find it at www.elks.org/enf/midday.cfm.

Sincerely,

Jim O’Kelley
ENF Director

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