The DNA of a Scholar
alternate text As you sit down to enjoy a hot cup of tea, you probably don’t consider the tea’s DNA. But Grace Young does. Her fascination with biology inspires her to see everyday objects in a whole new light.

Grace’s intelligence, coupled with her love of community service, earned her one of the 2013 Elks Most Valuable Student scholarship top scholarships in the amount of $60,000. Sponsored by Hoboken, N.J., Lodge No. 74, Grace will take her intellect and passion for service with her to Harvard this fall where she plans to study cellular and molecular biology.

“I’ve been interested in biology for as long as I can remember,” says Grace. “It’s something I can grasp because it has to do with my everyday life.”

The Service Gene

In high school, Grace conducted research with Rockefeller University, which included analyzing the DNA in tea leaves. She also served as the president of the Math Club, Science Club and the Cooking Club. In her “free time,” Grace also founded Under the Same Sky, a community service club that raises funds to sponsor children’s education in rural China.

“I founded the club in ninth grade because I’ve always been interested in education as a way of helping others,” says Grace. “It’s been fulfilling to see this club grow from a few friends to the most established club at my school.”

Helping Future Generations

Grace is thankful to the Elks for helping her attain her own education at Harvard.

“I am grateful to the Elks for helping students fulfill their educational dreams and become whatever they aspire to be,” says Grace. “I am honored to receive this scholarship and feel that I have an obligation to give back to future generations of students.”

With the support of the Elks and her passion for helping others, we know Grace will continue to give back to her community. It’s written in the tea leaves.

In 2013-14, the Elks National Foundation allocated $2.44 million to fund 500 four-year Most Valuable Student Scholarships, which now feature 20 top awards of at least $20,000. For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, visit

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