My name is Elizabeth Schaff. I am a recent graduate of the University of North Dakota, where I earned a B.S. in biology with a pre-health emphasis; I intend to apply to medical school this coming June. During my senior year at Century High School, I was honored to receive an Elks Legacy scholarship from the Elks National Foundation through my grandfather’s membership in the Elks. As a Legacy scholar, I maintained a commitment to community service at UND, and I intend to continue this commitment in the years to come.
Recently, Elks National Foundation has began offering opportunities for Legacy Scholars to participate in Elks scholar service trips. Thanks to a donation from the Bismarck-Mandan Elks Lodge, I was able to participate in the most recent service trip to Oakland, California on January 3rd-9th 2016. The theme of the service trip was serving hunger and homelessness, issues that are extremely prevalent in Oakland and the greater San Francisco Bay area.
During this trip, our 19-member team served meals at a homeless shelter, sorted fresh produce for a food bank, assisted refugee and low-income children with homework at an after-school program, and planted more than 6,000 marsh plants in the San Francisco Bay. We also were able to connect with local Elks Lodges by sharing a meal at the Richmond, CA lodge #1251 and the Alameda, CA lodge #1015. This was a unique and fun opportunity for me to connect with the Elks and express my appreciation for their service and support of all Elks scholars.
This service trip was life changing for me. It was an eye-opening experience to see the devastating effects of hunger and homelessness. Above all, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve in the name of the Elks, who have done so much for me through my Legacy scholarship.
Elizabeth Schaff, 2012 Elks Legacy Scholar