by Sherie Sasso Scholarship Chair at Madison, Wis., Lodge No 410
This is my fourth year as Scholarship Chair at Madison, Wis., Lodge No. 410. We have about 25 high schools in our area, and we generally receive 40 to 50 applications each year. We have a team of three or four individuals who judge the applications.
From the beginning, I have always been extremely impressed by the quality of the applicants. They are all very bright scholars who maintain excellent grades while also participating in community service and school activities. Most are leaders in their classrooms and on their sports teams. In addition, many hold part-time jobs. It is incredibly difficult to evaluate each application and determine which of the applicants will move on to the District level. We wish we could give scholarships to all of the students because they have all worked so hard.
I was very happy when Elks Scholar Fellow Jenna Johnson contacted me about hosting an Elks Scholar Meet-Up at our Lodge. I was surprised to learn that 26 Elks scholars currently attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Twelve of them were able to attend our scholar meet-up. Except for a couple of casual contacts, none of the students had met each other, and the thing that brought them together was their Elks scholarship.
By the end of dinner, they were all chatting and laughing among themselves— exchanging emails and phone numbers, and really enjoying their get together. It
occurred to me that they actually have more in common than their Elks scholarship. They are all very similar people: extremely bright, extremely motivated and instilled with a natural love of learning. I’m so glad we were able to bring them together at the Lodge and I hope we stay in touch with each other.
Meeting these exceptional students has strengthened my belief in the ENF scholarship program and I am excited to review this year’s applications. Thank you, ENF!