Beyond the Scholarship: Full Circle
When I go out and serve communities on
behalf of the Elks, I find that what the Elks have done for us and what we’re doing for the community, I find that that service comes full circle. I’m sure for many scholars here, service is a fantastic part of their lives. Service is at the core of what these organizations stand for. Many scholars here are here because they’ve done amazing work in their communities and in their campus communities as well. Service is a place where you could really reflect on yourself and give back to the community because it really helps you understand where you’re at and where other people are at, so that you can get different perspectives and be more appreciative. You get to appreciate your own brokenness and your own approach to life. And I think that’s like a selfish way to look at service sometimes, about like, oh, it’s all about me, but I think the way I’ve found, in my relationship through the Elks and through other service opportunities, is that the more generous I want to be the more the world seems to care about me also. Being able to continue a life of service, beyond high school and college, has always been important to me. And the Elks makes it really easy to get involved with so many different activities. The feeling that you get when you volunteer, whether it’s at a shelter or at a veterans event or at a dinner, it’s a really rewarding feeling and, to me, the Elks do it really, really well. I see the Elks kind of as an adult fraternity as in they give back to the community, and they are all about serving. You have such deep connections in such a short period of time, and they’re incredibly meaningful. I’ve made such lifelong friendships through these trips.