2017 Most Valuable Student Award Recipient
University of Florida —
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Major
Sponsored by Miami, Fla., Lodge No. 948
Zachary Yeager is a born leader. When he notices an issue, he identifies how he can help, utilizes his resources and makes the change.
While tutoring students at inner-city schools, Zachary noticed the lack of supplies was negatively impacting the students’ performance. He founded ZacPacks for Life, Inc., a Miami-based nonprofit that collects surplus school supplies at the end of each academic year from schools and businesses, and donates them to local shelters.
He started not one, but three other programs like this. To help students indirectly, Zachary delivered more than 1,000 books to inner-city school parents for a book drive.
“We called the program ‘Parents Who Read,’ because studies have shown that children are more likely to take up reading when they see their parents reading a book,” Zachary says.
Zachary also volunteered on several projects including building supplies for a dog shelter, planting gardens for patients and families at the Baptist Hospital Cancer Center and playing in a benefit soccer game to help fund a community member’s surgical operation.
The personal goals Zachary has accomplished—to excel in school and develop projects that benefit his community—have become the foundation of his vision for the future. He looks forward to solving humanity’s “most pressing problems” as he studies Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Upon graduation, Zachary plans to work for the Department of Defense.
Zachary believes being an Elks scholar completes his “academic and professional journey to becoming an invaluable member of society.” The Yeager family is no stranger to the work the Elks National Foundation does in communities across the nation. Zachary’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather have been proud members of the Elks for over 20 years.
“They have enjoyed the friends they have made through the Lodge and have experienced a comradery that has broadened their commitment to their community and their family,” Zachary says.
For 2017-18, the Elks National Foundation allocated $2.89 million to fund the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, which includes 500 four-year scholarships ranging from $4,000 to $50,000. For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, visit enf.elks.org/MVS.