Hello Elks scholars! As the school year winds down for most of us, it is the perfect time to reflect on the past year. We’ve all had our ups and downs this past year, but through it all we’ve taken away lessons to remember.
First, I have to elaborate on a huge highlight of my past semester: the Elks National Hoop Shoot Finals in Springfield, MA. The trip itself was incredible, and we even got to visit the Basketball Hall of Fame. The best part for me, however, was when my parents came to visit me! It was so nice to be able to spend time with my family after being away at college for so long.
A major lesson that I learned this year is to appreciate the people in my life. A few of my closest friends were seniors and graduated this past semester. Even though they will be dearly missed, it’s important to focus more on the happy memories that we’ve created. This picture was taken at the Scholar Awards, when those of us with 4.0 GPAs were awarded medallions. After working tirelessly for months, we were fortunate enough to be able to share that joy with a group of close friends, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
The most important thing that I learned from this past year is to take an opportunity when it comes to you. When my father heard about the Elks through a coordinator of the Regional Spelling Bee, he took the opportunity to become an Elks member. Then, when I saw the application online to be on the Elks Scholar Advisory Board, I gave it a shot and applied. After volunteering with my Elks Lodge (earlier today, in fact), I’ve gained a new appreciation for how blessed I am to be a part of such a genuine and pos-itive community. Furthermore, I’m looking forward to our trip to Indianapolis for my sec-ond Elks National Convention! To think that all of this started with a conversation be-tween my dad and a stranger over eight years ago just goes to show how different doors can lead us to amazing places in our lives, as long as we are willing to open them.
I hope the rest of Elks members and scholars alike have had similarly enlightening years, and remember to apply those lessons that we’ve learned into creating an even better year to come!
Elks Scholar Advisory Board Freshman Representative
Pennsylvania State University
In 2015-16, the Elks National Foundation appropriated $4.16 million to fund the ENF scholarship program, which provides college scholarships, ensuring a bright future for our nation’s youth. As important parts of the Elks family, Elks scholars have many social and service opportunities to connect with the Elks and each other. For more information about our scholarship programs, and for ways Lodges can get involved with Elks scholars, visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars.