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Showing posts from September, 2015

Meet the Staff: Wendi Dwyer—By Way of South Sudan

by Wendi Dwyer, Communications Manager
Elks National Foundation
I have always loved the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. As luck would have it, I was able to move here in June. I have four children. My youngest daughter is 15 years old. She was accepted into the Chicago Academy of the Arts in May. Her three older brothers were already out of the house—youngest in college, the middle one in grad school and the oldest is gainfully employed. With only two of us in a big house, it was time to downsize. We jumped at the opportunity to move to the city.

It has been a glorious summer exploring our new neighborhood. One evening while walking my dog, Franklin, we passed the impressive Elks Veterans Memorial. The magnificence of the building made me wonder about all of the people who worked together to create such a beautiful tribute to service. I had no idea I would one day be working there.

My previous role was as the executive director of Lost Boys Rebuilding South Sudan, a 501(c)(3) orga…

Caught up in the Moment 
or Grit Happens

by Jim O'Kelley, Director
Elks National Foundation
That moment when you realize that thing you've been doing is actually a thing. A couple of weeks ago, I was telling Meghan about our latest Hoop Shoot video (watch for it on September 29 as the first installment in our #TrueGritTuesdays series!)--which features two sisters from Missouri and their parents and is about setting goals and working hard to achieve them--and she said: "You guys ought to talk more about grit. It's a hot topic right now. Everyone wants to fund programs that help kids develop grit." One of the things I've learned in four years of marriage is that Meghan has an uncanny knack for being right. Turns out while we were immersed in running the Hoop Shoot, its outcomes had become the Holy Grail of youth programming. The grit movement in education started a few years ago when psychologist Angela Duckworth studied people in various challenging situations, including National Spelling Bee pa…

Summer 2015 Trip Recap

by Maryann Slater
Elks Scholar Fellow

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.

Learn. Serve. Connect. We’ve returned from the Summer 2015 Elks Scholar Service Trip with many memories of the beautiful Upper Peninsula, new constructions skills, and bonds that will last long beyond the trip. For an inside look into the trip, check out this short film!
The Elks Scholar Service Trips initiative exists to allow Elks scholars the opportunity to learn about societal issues, serve those in need in the name of the Elks, and connect with their Elks family. I’d like to share how I saw these three pillars come to life on the trip.

Learn. As the Elks Scholar Fellow, it is …

A Week in Manistique

Danny Evans
Elks Most Valuable Student Scholar
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.  

My name is Danny Evans, and I have received a scholarship through the Elks Most Valuable Student Program. I live in Holland, Michigan and am a sophomore at the University of Michigan, where I am studying Biophysics.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the first ever Elks Scholar Service Trip. I joined a group of ENF staff and other Elks scholars and headed to Manistique, Michigan to spend a week volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. We helped restore a house by installing insulation, siding, and subfloor, and even leveled an uneven floor. The trip was a very enjoyabl…

Recipe for an Elks Scholar Service Trip

By 2015 Most Valuable Student Scholarship Recipient and Elks Scholar Advisory Board Member Jessica Carter
Jessica Carter, 2015 Most Valuable Student scholar and freshmen representative on the Elks Scholar Advisory Board, is giving us a glimpse into life as a college freshman. Join her each month as she blogs about her exciting new challenges and experiences at Northwestern University. 

Something new and exciting was just created exclusively for Elks scholars across America— Elks Scholar Service Trips! From August 9 through the 15 we tried making it for the first time and, surprisingly, got it just right. It’s only fair that I share the recipe with all of you in hopes that you’ll try it out for yourself one day.
Yield: 1 experience of a lifetime
Total Time: 6 days of service and adventure
Ingredients:
One eager group of Elks scholars and ENF staff A theme song—“Everything is Awesome” was ours One work site in a welcoming town—we used Manistique, Michigan A dash of fun A pinch of nig…