Skip to main content

Beyond the Scholarship


by Anji Radakrishnan 
Elks Scholar Advisory Board President


My name is Anjithaa Radakrishnan and I am from Nashua, New Hampshire. I am in a 6 year accelerated medical program through Pennsylvania State University and Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where I’m about to commence my second year. Additionally, this year, I am so proud to have been elected as President of the Elks National Foundation Scholar Advisory Board.

Getting to know my #ElksFamily at the 2015 Elks National Convention in Indy.
I first learned about the Elks in 2007 when I arrived at an Elks Lodge to participate in the Regional Spelling Bee. Subsequently, my family and I developed close friendships with Elks members, who supported both me and my older brother, Avvinash, as we went on to participate in the National Spelling Bee. My father joined the Elks six years ago as a way to cement our participation in our local Lodge. Three years ago, I received a Legacy Awards scholarship and was selected to join the Scholar Advisory Board, through which I was able to increase my Elks involvement from a local to national level. 

Chatting with Mr. Grillo after the Board Meets Board Dinner.
These past three years on the SAB have brought many unique experiences and lasting friendships. I have found that there is something to be learned from each individual I have met, whether I am hanging out with other Elks scholars in the Scholar Lounge at Convention or sitting at dinner with a notable Elks member. Hearing other scholars’ inspirational stories of compassion and ambition sparks a fire in me. Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The Elks have embodied this mantra perfectly and I strive to do the same. This year, our board plans to expand our connections with fellow Elks scholars and members through a variety of means: hosting meet-ups, encouraging volunteering at local Lodges, participating in Elks Scholar Service Trips, posting on social media and more! We look forward to spreading awareness of the Elks in the hopes of creating stronger communities all around the country.

It was all smiles on the trails near Lake Tahoe.
Each experience I have had with the Elks in my past three years on the Board, from volunteering at my Lodge to Hoop Shoot to each National Convention, deepens my understanding of and admiration for the Elks National Foundation. Only the combined dedication and passion of numerous individuals, including Jim O’ Kelley, Debbie Doles, and Kate Edsey, to whom I am endlessly grateful, could have transformed the Foundation into what it is today, a hallmark of excellence in charitable work. I can confidently say that the compassion and kindness that I have experienced in the past decade in all of my interactions with Elks have shaped me as a person and will continue to impact me positively as a future physician.

Warm regards, 
Anjithaa Radakrishnan

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 …