2004 MVS Top Winner: Stephanie Smith
Q: How did you choose to attend Taylor University and how did you pick your major?
I wanted a Christian school, so I went to Taylor because of the strong community there. I couldn’t decide between Christian ministries, psychology and social work so I tried to form my own major as best I could. I’m in seminary now, so it laid the foundation for that.

Q: What have you been up to since graduation?
I graduated in 2008 and started working at Hope College in Holland, Mich., as a Resident Director. I’m in my fourth year now. I live in an all-girls dorm and do programming and try to create a great college atmosphere for them. I love guiding the freshman and sophomore girls that I live with. I got married three years ago, and in fall 2009 we both started full time at Western Theological Seminary, getting a Masters of Divinity.

Q: What did your ENF scholarship mean to you?
It meant freedom to choose the college that I wanted. Our family had a lot of financial burdens, my dad hadn’t worked since I was 12 and my parents were divorced. My single mom was trying to support two kids, and my brother was already in school, so there wasn’t too much left over for me.

Q: What was your favorite memory from attending the Elks Convention?
I got to throw out the first pitch at a Minnesota Twins game. My dad grew up in Minnesota so I grew up watching the Twins play. I have relatives in Minnesota and they were able to come. That was pretty exciting!

Q: What does being an Elks scholar mean to you?
I often brag about the Elks to people because I love their generosity. Even just through their name—the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks—they exude benevolence. They are trying to do a lot of good in their communities, and I like being associated with that.

Q: What advice do you have for other Elks scholars?
I’d say it’s important to remember that gift. Last fall I spoke at the Michigan Elks Convention in Sault Sainte Marie. It was really beneficial for me to be able to thank the Elks again. So I’d say continually give gratitude back to the Elks.

Q: What is an interesting fact about you that most people would find surprising or unexpected?
I lived in seven different houses before the age of 10. My dad was a Lieutenant in the Air Force.

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