Skip to main content

My Journey from Elk scholar to Lodge Scholarship Chair

 Sean Pringle is the Scholarship Chair at the Oceano/Five Cities, Calif., Lodge No. 2504 where he has been a member for two years. Upon receiving his MVS scholarship in 2010, Sean served on the ENF Scholar Advisory Board (SAB) for four years. He graduated in spring of 2016 with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering (structural emphasis) from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.  

We encourage Elks scholars to share their story, give their time, and join the Order. Hear about Sean’s journey from share, to give, to join below.

SHARE

Each scholar has a different story and experience to share. We come from all different backgrounds, have led different volunteer events/activities, and are passionate about pursuing a great career after college. When you consider how many current Elks scholars and alumni are out there, we make up a rather large community, all with one central connection­we’re part of the much larger Elks family.
 

I became involved with the Elks during my senior year of high school. I realized how much the Elks were doing for our school, from providing dinners for students with academic excellence, to hosting the Elks Teenager of the Month (and Year) awards. I volunteered at a few dinners and lunch events earlier that year, and was selected as an MVS recipient later that spring. That summer, I served my first year as a Scholar Advisory Board member, which opened my eyes even more to opportunities the Elks provide across the country. Naturally, when I joined the Elks, I was drawn towards helping with the scholarships. We also have a great Youth Activities Chair, Kristi Dupler, who’s been a great mentor.

GIVE
Back in college, I took a few other Elks scholars from my campus to various Lodge events to keep them connected with the Elks. We also did community activities, like visiting local senior homes to play cards and hang out with senior citizens. I knew it was a way to give back to the Order, which was supporting us during college with ENF and Lodge scholarships. We even made t-shirts that said “Cal Poly Elks Scholars” which we wore when we volunteered at these activities.

I think the most important thing Elks can do after supporting an Elks scholar going off to college is to continue to remain involved with that scholar during their college years. One great program is the Elks Scholar Speaker Program, which invites Elks scholars back to their Lodges during academic breaks to speak to the Lodge over a dinner and share their experiences. It helps the scholars to continue to remember the Order and reinforces a desire to give back and share their story even after they graduate from college.

JOIN
My number one piece of advice for younger scholars looking to join the Elks is to think about joining with a friend. That way, there’s at least one person you know when you attend an event and it might make “breaking the ice” and meeting new people a bit easier. Also, getting involved in a specific committee, such as scholarships, or veterans, can help to keep you involved in several Lodge activities throughout the year.


The B.P.O.E. is truly a family filled with amazing and giving individuals. I don’t think any other organization presents the same amount of support through volunteer efforts geared towards a large variety of groups - from youth to veterans, law enforcement and even just the general public. Lodges provide an opportunity to meet someone new each day and share stories and experiences with one another. I look forward to contributing towards the warm culture at my home Lodge in the work I perform as Scholarship Chair and through our annual events. The term “Benevolence”, synonymous with “kindness”, “charity” and “goodwill” is 100 percent at the core of the organization and every activity put on by the more than 1,900 Lodges across the country. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

For the Love of Nonprofits

by Nathan Kriha
Donor Services Coordinator
One of the most consistent passions in my life has been a love for nonprofits—especially ones that focus on education and the development of impoverished communities. This love can be traced all the way back to my high school days when my mother (quite forcibly) suggested I teach a kindergarten religious education course with her.
After my introductory class, I thought that this decision would easily be one of the biggest regrets of my life: The children would scream, cry, launch their crayons into space, tear up their books, and cry a little more. While I was initially stunned by this preliminary lesson, I witnessed my mother corral these angsty students and gradually create a heartwarming and quite soothing environment. At this moment I realized the true influence that a teacher can have on their students, and I became captivated with the study of successful teaching methods.
This interest persisted into my coursework at the University of Not…

Meaghan's First Month

by Meaghan Morris
Lodge Grants Program Coordinator

Hello! My name is Meaghan, and I am thrilled to be the new Programs Coordinator in the Community Investments Program office.
I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015. Since then, I’ve jetted around peripatetically, travelling to 46 states and 24 countries, and living in Western Massachusetts, Boston, and the mountains of rural Wyoming.  I moved to Chicago in 2016, and the Cubs won the World Series a little while later. I attribute my move as the main catalyst for the breaking of the Curse of the Billy Goat, so, you’re welcome for that, Cubs fans!
I joined the ENF during its busiest time of the year. I started working in the CIP office one day after grant applications opened for the new year, and our office was inundated with hundreds of grant applications in that first week alone. On top of the busyness in our office, Fundraising, Communications, Hoop Shoot and Scholarships were excitedly (yet gracefully!) preparin…

Back to Biloxi

by John Kavula
Elks Scholar Fellow

As the chilly fall weather crept in on Chicago, Programs Relationship Senior Associate Maryann Dernlan and I had the chance to escape to the sunny, 80-degree weather of the Mississippi Gulf Coast for a site visit in preparation for the 2019 Winter Elks Scholar Service Trip.

When I accepted the position of Elks Scholar Fellow nearly five months ago, one aspect of the position that drew me in was the opportunity to choose the location for the Elks Scholar Service Trips. When I found out that Community Collaborations International (CCI), a service organization we had worked with on a past trip, had a program in Biloxi, Mississippi, I knew that I wanted to go to a place that meant so much to me: The Gulf Coast.
Before going to college, I lived just an hour east of Biloxi in Mobile, Alabama, so I jumped at the opportunity to bring a group of Elks scholars, many of whom may have never been to the Gulf Coast, to share the experience of the place I called home …