August, the end of summer and the beginning of the Scholarship season for the Elks. This will be an interesting year for us all. Last year Covid interrupted our everyday lives and caused so many things to be cancelled, postponed, or redesigned. We all hope that this year will be easier and that for students especially, they will be returning to in-school classes. The class of 2021 had the most challenging year since most of their learning was done remotely. Many students who were scheduled to head off to college postponed their Freshman year, others decided to wait to apply for college and for scholarships. We all hope that this year will be easier for them. Many lodges were closed by state regulations, others had limited access. Some areas were devastated by fires which caused communities and lodges to offer support, even putting themselves at Covid risk…Elks Care, Elks Share.

For the Elks Scholarship committees, the Local, District and State levels had challenges like never before. Fortunately for students, applications are now all online and local lodges chose whether to conduct live or virtual interviews. Districts struggled with the same issues and at the State level, many were unable to make it to the judging, though some did so virtually as well. The Scholarship award ceremony was cancelled and the winning students received their award notices by phone, email and snail mail. Life continued but with so many changes. We all hope that the Delta Covid variant will settle down and that our lives will continue to move forward. At this point it is unclear if that will, in fact, happen. The Scholarship program will happen either way, and if State and Federal regulations cause us to again shift the way we do things, we will adjust. In the meantime, let’s hope that many students take advantage of the wonderful scholarship program afforded us through Elks National Foundation. Please remind your lodges to participate and contact the Scholarship committee with questions or further information.

The season for Most Valuable Student Contest applications begins on August 2, 2021 with the deadline for applying on November 15, 2021. To learn more about the Most Valuable Student Award please go to: https://www.elks.org/scholars/scholarships/mvs.cfm.

Also available for those who are not attending a four-year college or university, the Oregon State Elks Association offers a Vocational Grant scholarship for those attending a program specific to a trade or profession (nursing, mechanics, hair/nails, construction, plumbing, welding, fire fighter, EMT, etc) or community college (not pre-BA) program. This is not limited to high school students and adult learners are welcome to apply. These $1500 awards can be applied for a second year if needed. Applications for the Vocational Grant are also available online. See the link below. Applications open August 2 and must be received by the Oregon State Elks office by midnight March 1, 2022.

Best of luck to all who apply!
Mary J. Danca
State Scholarship Chair

The Most Valuable Student Contest is open to any high school senior who is a citizen of the United States. Scholarships can be given at the lodge, district, state and national levels. The online application will be available on August 2, 2021.

The OSEA VOCATIONAL GRANT PROGRAM 2022-23 is open to any age person wanting to go to school for a vocational or technical career. It may not be used as a stepping stone to a 4-year program. The application is writable once you download and save it. The application opens August 2, 2021 with a deadline of March 1, 2022.

The Legacy Award is available to children or grandchildren of living Elk members in good standing. This $4,000 award, given over a 4-year period, is for high school seniors. The deadline to apply is February 7, 2022.