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The Elks Scholar Fellow October Countdown

by Maryann Slater
Elks Scholar Fellow
 

- 59 Scholars, 5 Meet-Ups, 4 States and 1 board of Inspirational Quotes

My Inspiration Board
I had the opportunity to connect with 59 Elks scholars, attend 5 Meet-Ups, and travel to 4 different states in October as the Elks Scholar Fellow. From a site visit to Oakland, California in preparation for the Winter 2016 Elks Scholar Service Trip to the National Scholarship Providers Association Conference (NSPA) in Charleston, South Carolina, my travels provided me with wonderful opportunities to learn so much that I will be able to implement on the Elks Scholar Service Trips.

I have an inspiration board at my desk (it’s actually a sheet of paper that I add post-its to), but I like to write down quotes that help me to remember the person I’m trying to become and why I’m doing what I’m doing each day. Many of them come from Simon Sinek’s daily “Notes to Inspire” emails that you can sign up for here. Sinek is a speaker and author famous for his TedTalk and book both titled “Start With Why.” Check out some of my favorite Sinek quotes below, and what they meant to me this past month.

“Following a plan is good for progress, but opportunity exists off the plan.”
If you know me, you know that I love to make lists and plan every detail that I can. But from accidentally biking part of a marathon in San Francisco on my quest to see the Golden Gate Bridge, to attending a session at the NSPA conference about Critical Race Theory that changed my perspective on the college student experience and how we can better serve our scholars, I’ve learned time and time again that some of the best moments and opportunities happen when you find comfort in ambiguity, take a leap of faith, and “seize the day” as my favorite Newsies song suggests.

A Collage of photos from the 5 Elks Scholar Meet-Ups I attended in October Top L: UC Berkeley, Top R: Stanford, Bottom L: University of Chicago, Middle Bottom: Northwestern, Bottom R: Notre Dame

“Great leaders don’t try to be perfect. Great leaders try to be themselves. And that’s what makes them great.”
I was able to attend Elks Scholar Meet-Ups at Berkeley, Stanford, Northwestern, the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame in October. My favorite thing about connecting with our scholars is that I get to hear about their goals, studies, and campus involvement. From Olivia at Notre Dame who wants to bring clean water to people all over the world, to Samuel at Berkeley who’s teaching a class this semester on Fantasy Football, our Elks scholars are leading others on their campuses by following their passions and just “being themselves.” It’s great to see that with the support of their Elks Family, they can focus less on paying for school and more on turning their passion into action.

ENF Staff at the 2015 NSPA Conference
“Don’t work on something, work towards something.” There are so many ways that I’m reminded of why we’re doing what we’re doing at the Elks National Foundation. From our ENF Film Fest highlighting the work and experiences of those who put our programs into action all across the country, to our Midday Podcast that highlights the latest happenings at the ENF, I get to hear about what our office is doing from all angles on a regular basis. And the best part is – you can, too!

Right now, I’m working towards the Winter 2016 and Spring 2016 Elks Scholar Service Trips. I’m so excited to serve alongside our scholars as they gain new perspectives about many issues prevalent within American society. While I may work on many tasks to plan the trips on a daily basis, I am so glad that I get to work towards equipping the next generation of Elks scholars to learn how to best serve those experiencing food insecurity and homelessness so that they can go back to their campuses and impact their communities all over the United States.


Maryann Slater
Elks Scholar Fellow


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.

Comments

  1. Nice post, Maryann. Hey, I ran into your dad while walking back from lunch today. (Maryann's parents are in town for Thanksgiving.)

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    He agreed. :-)

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