What’s in a Name? MVS Alum Provides Opportunities

Jon Gattman has experienced and accomplished a great deal since his modest beginnings in rural Alabama. Now a world traveler, successful Harvard alum and active donor to the Elks National Foundation, Gattman attributes much of his success to education. “I was introduced to a lot of different ideas and careers that I would not have known about if it hadn’t been for my experience,” he explains.

As a graduating high school senior in 1999, Gattman placed third nationally in the Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student scholarship competition. The scholarship he earned from the ENF helped him attend Harvard University.

“The assistance allowed me to get involved in extracurricular activities on campus at Harvard,” says Gattman. “For work, I could take jobs that were interesting and relevant, instead of having to focus on the income.” Along with his on- and off- campus involvement, the general learning process at Harvard led Gattman from his initial interest in politics and government toward his current endeavors in finance and business entrepreneurship.

After graduating in 2003, he moved from Boston to New York City, and now resides in Dallas. Gattman loves to travel, which is something he didn’t get to experience as a kid. He has traveled to more than 20 countries and countless cities across the United States. No matter where he is, Gattman stays true to what matters most to him. Giving Back The generosity of the Elks, which Gattman experienced first hand, notably increased the scope of opportunities for his future. He is driven to share the promise of similar opportunities with other students.

Gattman recently enrolled in the ENF’s new Most Valuable Student Named Scholarship Program. “The Named Scholarship Program allows me to attach a name with where my money is going,” he explains. The program matches scholarship recipients with donors who pledge to give $1,000 a year for four years. The scholarship is named for the donor, and the donor and scholar can correspond with one another throughout the four years.

The MVS Named Scholarship Program is a special giving opportunity for Gattman, especially since he is not the only MVS scholarship recipient in his family. His younger sister, Ginny, placed second in the nation in 2005 and is currently attending Harvard. Rather than naming the scholarship for himself, Gattman chose to name it in honor of his parents, Anthony and Carol Gattman.

“I can say with 100 percent certainty that I would be nowhere near the person I am today had my parents not been there to support me,” expresses Gattman.

Moving Forward Gattman strongly supports educational scholarships, especially for youth who otherwise would not have the resources to pursue their dreams. “By giving people extra resources, we increase opportunities,” he says. By donating to the Elks National Foundation, Gattman knows he is helping the Elks level out the playing field for hundreds of youth each year.

“The ENF is my favorite, most meaningful way that I spend my money,” Gattman says. “It really makes me feel very good inside to know people are benefiting from it.”

When asked what’s next for him, the young Jon Gattman replies: “I’ll see where my life goes.” He continues to build on his professional career, explore his interests, and promote awareness for the additional resources and opportunities available to youth seeking education. Gattman’s support of the ENF, particularly as a donor through the Named Scholarship Program, creates a winning combination for everyone!

For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, please visit our website at www.elks.org/enf/scholars/mvs.cfm. To learn more about the MVS Named Scholarship Program, please contact Erin Rohan at ErinR@elks.org or by phone at 773/755-4858.

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