2019 Most Valuable Student Scholarship Leadership Weekend

2019 Most Valuable Student Scholarship Leadership Weekend

August 30, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


Looking out on the Sky Deck, being so high in the air was kind of a metaphor for how high everyone’s potential is. Everyone here this weekend has amazing things to do, and there’s nothing in their way. We can all go out and conquer the world. I am so excited to be here at the 2019 MVS conference. I have been looking forward to this all year. It’s so amazing to see the great job that the Elks do selecting these students from 25,000 down to 20. They do a really good job picking people that mesh well together and have learned well together. These are definitely different connections than I have with anyone in my hometown. The places that people are coming from and the experiences that they’ve had and just the amount of potential that is in this group is unimaginable. It really recognizes kids for their service and for what they’ve done during their high school career that makes them stand out. My culture has really shaped my value of compassion. For as long as I can remember, since I was young, my parents have always really instilled a strong value for service to my community. Helping others and just, you know, being in service of others without asking anything in return, is like, it’s a feeling that you go home with that doesn’t compare to anything else. Just today we were able to volunteer with local veterans. And so we got to play charades with them and then give them gifts that we packed. And so just being able to do that was very fulfilling. Not a lot of these people have people to visit them in the hospitals. So giving the care packages and the letters and the cards, it really just made me as happy as it made them. Talking to the veterans, we learned so much, like they have so many interesting stories to tell. It really put into perspective for me the sacrifice that our veterans have
made for us. I think it was rewarding to be able to genuinely sit next to someone
and thank them for their sacrifice that they’ve made for me and for their
service. There have been a lot of learning activities here that have been very informative and helped me kind of reach into myself and learn about how I
view the world. I’ve definitely learned that I can make myself more vulnerable and more open to different ideas but also share my story to others who might
be able to relate. There are such accomplished students here that I really think sticking to who you are and your values and your, what you believe in, really can, you know, bring a different thing to the table. We’ve really focused on how to play up on our strengths and hone in on these abilities. The Elks program is amazing for investing in our futures. And I think that it’s really great that they continue to put out what they want to
receive. So they bring all these great students, and we get the training and
then they send us out into the world and hope to make a bigger impact. I really feel that this scholarship program, unlike so many others, is much more a personal level of what are you? Who are you? What have you achieved, you know, within yourself? Since I’ve struggled with so much with my own adversities, it’s really easy for me to notice when other people are struggling, and I push myself to help alleviate that burden. Life is way too short to be negative and it’s all about the positive energy and spreading kindness and compassion to one another. I don’t let the bad parts of my story be what’s shown out. I want people to know me for the good things. Instead of dwelling on my adversities, I use them to build me up. That’s what college is all about. It’s all about getting through adversity, picking yourself up and coming out stronger on the other side. Overcoming what I overcame and hearing some of the stories that the scholars this year have come from, it really is empowering to know that not only did they come through them, but they rose from that. They’re here. The younger generation is gonna be able to make a big difference in the world Our generation is very different from previous generations. I think we’ll all agree. But we do have a lot to say. We have really good influence and, I think, more recently with things that are happening in our world, the young people are taking a stand. And I think it’s important to see that our age isn’t necessarily something that we should see as an adverse condition. It’s something that we can use to advocate for more people. Just understanding that people have a lot of privilege and others don’t have that privilege. So it’s really about using what you have and the resources that you have to help these
underprivileged or underrepresented groups. Being recognized as an Elks scholar, I feel like I have more responsibility to like take action and
to not stay silent about issues that are affecting me and affecting my community. I believe through college, and through this scholarship, I can become what I’m meant to become and really help society. I never thought that there could be
people who have gone through so much and have achieved so much, and being able to be recognized for that, for all their achievements and all their struggles, and me being able to communicate with them and talk with them in a life-changing experience that wouldn’t be possible without the Elks. So to the Elks, obviously, thank you. You are doing so much good, and you are making so many
people’s lives different. Thank you so much for your consideration. It’s been an absolute honor. I’m going to try my best to make your investment worth it. Probably give everyone a hug if I could. I am super grateful. You’re really helping a kid from a small town achieve his dream. This scholarship will help me go to a dream school of mine. This dream that I have, it’s kind of lofty and it’s not real concrete, and I wouldn’t be able to do that without scholarships from the Elk Foundation. So I’m really grateful to be able to have that freedom to be where I
can make the most impact with my abilities. Thank you so, so, so much not just for the funds towards college, but also for the experiences, for the
connections, and for the memories I made this past weekend that will continue
to go on for a long time. You know we all have our story to tell and our motivations. And people just went through so much, and to be so successful, even now, and I’m so excited to see where we’re all going to end up in the future as a part of the Elks family.