All in the Elks

alternate textElks scholars know they belong to the Elks family—a nationwide family of 825,000 members at nearly 2,000 Elks Lodges. Justin Erdman knows this especially well. Upon graduating and moving to a new town, he immediately connected with his Elks family.

Justin, a 2008 MVS scholar sponsored by Sunbury, Pa., Lodge No. 267, graduated from Bloomsburg University and took his business education and accounting degrees 90 miles away to State College, Pa., where he started working as a Certified Public Accountant.

“When I moved to State College, I was in a new city and I knew that there was a large Elks Lodge just outside of town, so I decided to get involved,” says Justin. And get involved he did.

After making contact with State College, Pa., Lodge No. 1600, through emails, Justin was initiated as an Elks member a few months later. As a Most Valuable Student scholarship recipient, Justin knew his way around the rigorous application process, and the Elks members sought his expertise.

“At initiation, new members were asked to speak about themselves, and I mentioned that I had been an Elks scholar,” says Justin. “The Scholarship Chair asked if I would be interested in helping to score scholarship applications in the upcoming year, and I naturally agreed.”

Justin is excited about helping future students become Elks scholars, because his Elks scholarship meant so much to him.

“I was a first generation college student,” says Justin. “So when I was selected as an Elks scholar it meant that I did not have to worry about financing an education, and I would be able to attend college.”

As Justin starts his career in a new city, we’re glad to know he found the support of his Elks family. We know he’ll be a part of the Elks family for a long time to come.

Elks scholars are joiners, doers, and leaders. Like Justin, they would make great Elks someday. Click here to watch a short video about this topic, from a panel discussion about engaging Elks scholars.

The Elks National Foundation provides $3.74 million in college scholarships each year. Today’s Elks scholars are tomorrow’s Elks. Be sure to include Elks scholars from your Lodge in Lodge events and service projects. For more information about our scholarship programs, and for ways Lodges can get involved with Elks scholars, visit

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