2015 Most Valuable Student Scholar
Harvard University-Molecular and Cellular Biology Major
Sponsored by Clawson-Troy, Mich., Lodge No. 2169
Elks scholars excel in many areas, from science and math to writing and the arts. This certainly describes Ellen Zhang, who pursued her varying interests in writing, science, and service and is pursuing them further in college with the help of her Elks family.
Ellen was active in community service in high school, including tutoring middle school and high school students, helping out with bingo and other events for senior citizens at several nursing homes, as well as volunteering with the Chinese Association of Greater Detroit, where she helped with office administration and events.
She engaged her creative side through writing by working with both Teen Ink Magazine and Polyphone HS Magazine, where she provides suggestions to magazine staff and fellow young writers. She also served as president of her school’s Writing Club and successfully organized the first “Poetry Out Loud” competition and assisted in the judging process.
Her interest in writing also led her to teach creative writing at the Chinese Culture Center to increase interest in writing among local youth. After presenting her idea to a committee, she started teaching creative writing to elementary students at the center, including vocabulary, grammar, and different essay styles and theories of writing.
“My students are learning something I profess my belief in: the power of words,” says Ellen.
Ellen also pursued her interest in science by serving in the Biology Club at her high school and organizing events for the Science Olympiad Team. She also worked for several years at the Department of Biological Sciences at Wayne State University and the Karmanos Cancer Institute, where she organized work spaces and conducted research projects.
Now in college, Ellen hopes to pursue her interest in science further by studying medicine, to help change the world one patient at a time.
“The mission of the Elks National Foundation is something I embody: I strive to build a stronger community where diversity and good-will are brought forth,” says Ellen. “Being an Elks scholar means I have a new family.”
For 2015-16, the Elks National Foundation allocated $2.74 million to fund the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, which includes 500 four-year Most Valuable Student Scholarships. For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars.