by Lisa Hartman
Scholarships Programs Coordinator
Scholarships Programs Coordinator
In these past few weeks, 800 envelopes crossed my desk bound for our 800 new Elks scholars—the class of 2019! All hands were on deck as the ENF staff helped me stuff folders, print letters, and wrangle label makers to send out information to our eager scholarship recipients.
As I look back on my 10 months working with the Elks, I am incredibly grateful to the staff and volunteers that make our charitable endeavors possible. From scoring applications to stuffing envelopes, every bit of energy invested in the Elks scholarship programs counts, especially to the 800 scholars that are now a part of the #ElksFamily.
And boy do we have an impressive group of Elks scholars! The members of the class of 2019 come with different backgrounds, talents, and passions, from communications to engineering. What unifies these scholars is their commitment to scholarship and, most importantly, their eagerness to give back to their communities. Take it from two of our new scholarship recipients: Michelle Qin and Cassidy Clark.
Michelle Qin, a Most Valuable Student scholar, was inspired to found her nonprofit Together to Empower after learning about the impoverished conditions and barriers to education that girls living in Guatemala's largest garbage dump community, La Antigua, dealt with. Since then, her organization has expanded its support to girls and women around the world.
“We've held summer coding camps for girls, organized fundraisers to support women’s business education in Uganda, and published a book titled ‘What is a Woman?,’ to empower the beauty and diversity of the female image,” Michelle says.
“I'm looking forward to joining a network of passionate individuals and change-makers from across the country. I hope to continue to give back to my community, be a role model for others, and make a positive impact no matter where I go,” Michelle says. “I'm so excited to be a part of the Elks family!”
As a junior in high school, Legacy Award recipient Cassidy Clark created a support group called Healing Hearts for middle school students experiencing familial stress such as illness or divorce.
“This group has allowed students to share their own experiences of having changes in their family dynamic, develop positive coping strategies to assist in managing these situations, and allowed students to create a lasting support system,” notes Cassidy.
Like Michelle, Cassidy is excited to extend her volunteerism and leadership capabilities to the Elks. “The Elks host events and serve our communities in order to make our world a better place, locally and at-large! I cannot wait to be more involved with the Elks and do what I love most, serve in our community!”, Cassidy says.
This summer, stay tuned for full stories from Michelle, Cassidy, and other members of the class of 2019. As beacons of Scholarship, Leadership, Knowledge, Charity, and Integrity, these 800 scholars are ready to take on college with support from the Elks. Please join me in welcoming them to the #ElksFamily!
In 2019-20, the Elks National Foundation will award $4.1 million in college scholarships, ensuring a bright future for our nation’s youth. As important members of the Elks family, Elks scholars have many social and service opportunities to connect with the Elks and one another. For more information about our scholarship programs, and for ways Lodges can get involved with Elks scholars, visit elks.org/scholars.