Resolve to Get Involved!

As an Elks scholar, we hope you’ll resolve to get (or stay) involved with your Elks family in 2017. Follow along with our countdown over the next 12 days as we feature the different ways scholars got involved in 2016!

Day 1—Elks Scholar Service Trips

In January 2016, 19 Elks scholars and two Elks National Foundation staff traveled to Oakland, California to serve in the name of the Elks. From serving to sightseeing, the scholars left their mark on the San Francisco Bay area and returned home with new perspective and passion for service.

Click here to read a blog about the stages of a service trip written by 2012 Legacy scholar and trip participant, Elizabeth Schaff.

Want to see the scholars in action? Click here to watch a recap video of the trip.

Resolve to get involved:

Click here to apply for the Spring Elks Scholar Service trip taking place March 12-18, 2017, in New Orleans. The application deadline is January 16, 2017.

Day 2—Cornerstone Grants

Erika Barger Christmas What need in your community are you passionate about serving? In 2016, four Elks scholars were each awarded a $500 grant to start or enhance a service project with an Elks Lodge. Spencer, with the help of his local Lodge No. 687, brought virtual reality software he was developing at UW-Madison back to his high school. Erika hosted a Christmas party at her sponsoring Elks Lodge No. 2193 for children in need. Click here to read more about past Cornerstone Grant projects.

Resolve to get involved:

If you’re a Legacy scholar who wants to make a difference in your community while partnering with the Elks, click here to learn more about Cornerstone Grants and to apply for a 2016-17 in January!

Day 3—Elks Scholar Speaker Program

NY Reflection Public speaking. It’s not everyone’s favorite activity, but it allows you to share your story and inspire others with your message. Why not hone your public speaking skills in a welcoming environment? In March 2016, Elks scholar Jessica Phan spoke at her local Lodge about her experience at Pomona College and about her experience on an Elks Scholar Service Trip. Elks love to hear about what you’re doing at school and what your scholarship means to you! Click here to read about Jessica’s experience with the Elks in her area.

Resolve to Get Involved:

Click here to get paired with a local Elks Lodge to share your experience at their next meeting or event!

Day 4—Weigel Medical School Scholarship

Brittan Sutphin When the late Lee Weigel lost her husband to a staph infection in 2009, she decided to invest in the future of healthcare in the U.S. Her generosity funds $20,000 medical school scholarships for Elks scholars. This year’s recipients, Michael Lindeborg , Brittan Sutphin and Ishani Premaratne , are all passionate about healthcare for different reasons and have their own inspiring stories.

Resolve to Get Involved:

If you’re an Elks scholar who is planning to attend an accredited U.S. medical school in 2017-18 to pursue a medical degree or Osteopathic Medicine degree, apply for a 2017 Weigel Medical School Scholarship. The application will be available upon request starting in January 2017 by emailing

Day 5—Alum of the Year

NY Reflection Rachel Russo, the 2016 Elks Alum of the Year has been dedicated to serving her community since receiving her MVS award in 2001. She’s currently a member of the Air Force and is studying to become a trauma/critical-care surgeon at the University of California, Davis. The Elks Alum of the Year receives a $500 grant to support the charity of his or her choice, receives formal recognition at the Elks National Convention, and serves on the Scholar Advisory Board for one year. Click here to read about what being a part of the Elks family means to Rachel.

Resolve to Get Involved:

Click here to learn more about the Elks Alum of the Year Award if you’re an Elks scholar alum. The 2017 application will open on January 3.

Day 6—Summer Elks Scholar Service Trip

In June 2016, 15 Elks scholars, including two Elks National Foundation staff, met in Chicago to spend the week serving veterans experiencing hunger and homelessness. “I knew that other Elks scholars were out there, I just didn't know that I could become so close to other Elks scholars.” Courtney Kabat, a 2015 Legacy scholar, said, “I think the community, respect, and love that we shared is a testament to the founding virtues of the Elks and the virtue of Elks scholars.”

Click here to read a blog about what the week meant to one of our 2015 MVS scholars, Do Hyun Kim.

Want to see the scholars in action? Click here to watch a recap video of the trip.

Resolve to get involved:

Click here to apply for the Spring Elks Scholar Service trip taking place March 12-18, 2017, in New Orleans. The application deadline is January 16, 2017.

Day 7—Scholar Advisory Board

Eight Elks scholars from across the U.S. serve on our Scholar Advisory Board each year. From advising the ENF on scholar relations efforts, to piloting programs in their area, to attending the Elks National Convention each year to connect with Elks from across the country, the SAB provides many professional development opportunities.

Click here to learn about the SAB from current and past members. Click here to read about Freshman Representative Brandon Dawson’s experience at the 2016 Convention.

Resolve to Get Involved:

Applications for the Scholar Advisory Board will open in January. Click here to learn more about the SAB.

Day 8—Volunteer with a Lodge

What do hygiene kits and the Hoop Shoot have in common? Elks scholars helped to bring both hygiene kits for those in need and Hoop Shoot contests come together in 2016! Elks Lodges across the country are serving needs in their communities each day. The ENF offers grants that Lodges can use to fund community projects.

In 2016, Elks scholars from the Minneapolis area served with the Hopkins, Minn. Lodge No. 2221 with their Impact Grant Project “Teaming Up for Teens.” Scholars and ENF staff spent an afternoon packing hygiene kits for teens in the community who need extra support. Click here to see pictures from the scholars’ service and click here to learn more about Elks scholar volunteers.

Resolve to Get Involved:

As an Elks scholar, you can give back to your community by volunteering with an Elks Lodge near your home or campus. (You can even serve at a Hoop Shoot contest and help kids develop grit and achieve their goals!) Email to get connected with a Lodge near you!

Day 9—Elks Scholar Meet-Ups

In September 2016, two Elks National Foundation staff and Elks scholars traveled to Madison, Wis. to meet 12 of the 26 Elks scholars attending University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sherie Sasso, the Scholarship Chair at the Madison, Lodge No. 410, graciously arranged for the scholars to have dinner at the Lodge restaurant. From discovering that they shared the same major, or lived in the same dorm to finding out they shared a similar interest, the connections made around the table will grow into connections made across their campus. Click here to read a blog post by Madison Lodge Scholarship Chair, Sherie Sasso.

Resolve to get involved:

Click here to learn more about how to host an Elks Scholar Meet-Up on your campus in 2017.

Day 10—Like, Follow and Snap us!

Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. We’re @ElksScholars on all platforms. From promoting the latest opportunities, to featuring your fellow Elks scholars, to social media contests, you don’t want to miss out! We asked our 2016 Elks scholars to tag us this fall–check out your #ElksFamily from across the country here!

Resolve to Get Involved:

Like us on Facebook, and follow us onTwitter, Instagram and Snapchat to dive into 2017 with Elks scholar news brightening up your feed!

Day 11—Elks Scholar Service Days

In November 2016, Elks scholars across the U.S. participated in the first-ever Elks Scholar Service Days. In honor of National Family Volunteer Day, all Elks scholars were encouraged to serve with their Elks family sometime between November 18-20. From New York City to California, Elks scholars from other universities gathered and served in cities across the U.S. Whether serving meals to the hungry or working in a community garden, Elks scholars made their #ElksFamily proud!

Click here to read a recap of Elks Scholar Service Days!

Resolve to get involved:

Plan to serve with your Elks family by organizing a service project with other Elks scholars on your campus! Email to get started.

Day 12—Jump in!

“Each scholar has a different story and experience to share. We come from all different backgrounds, have led different volunteer events/activities, and are passionate about pursuing a great career after college. When you consider how many current Elks scholars and alumni are out there, we make up a rather large community, all with one central connection¬—we’re part of the much larger Elks family.”

Sean Pringle led Meet-Ups on his college campus, joined the Scholar Advisory Board and in 2016 became Scholarship Chair at the Oceano/Five Cities, Calif., Lodge No. 2504. He is now welcoming new Elks scholars into the Elks family. Talk about full circle! Click here to read about Sean’s journey from Elks scholar to Scholarship Chair.

Resolve to Get Involved:

Think of ways to link what you’re passionate about to the Elks! Check out all our scholar opportunities here

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