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The Elks National Foundation is sponsoring its  2020 Most Valuable Student scholarship contest. 

The award is available to high school seniors who are U.S. citizens, according to a release, but applicants need not be related to an Elks member. Males and females compete separately and are judged on scholarship, leadership and financial need. 

Applications are made online at elks.org/scholars or enf.elks.org/MVS  and must be submitted by the Nov. 5 deadline. The 500 national winners will be announced in April 2020 after the top 20 finalists participate in the Leadership Weekend in Chicago, April 23-26.

This year, ENF is investing $4.1 million in college scholarships for the nation’s future lawyers, doctors, engineers, innovators and more. 

MVS scholars — all of whom demonstrate scholarship, leadership and financial need — are graduating from college at a rate of 90 percent, nearly 40 percent higher than the national average.

Through the contest, ENF will award 20 top scholarships ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. 

The remaining 480 runners-up will receive $4,000 scholarships. 

Since ENF began awarding scholarships in 1931, it has changed the lives of tens of thousands of students, like 2019 MVS top winner Tabitha Escalante.

“I cannot express how thankful I am for the endless support of the Elks as I take my next steps into the future,” Tabitha said. 

“Having grown up in a city where most students weren’t expected to graduate high school, let alone attend college, this investment was beyond imaginable, and I’m so excited that it’s now a reality.” Tabitha will attend Harvard University to major in government this fall. 

Additionally, Walla Walla Elks Lodge 287 will locally give up to $6,000 in MVS, Vocational and Nicholas scholarships.  

Vocational grants are a Washington State Elks Association and local Lodge program only.  These scholarships are available to high school seniors who are U.S. citizens; again, no Elk’s affiliation is required.  

Scholarships are awarded at the local and state levels.  Applications are due at the Walla Walla Elks Lodge, 22 E. Birch St., by March 2.  Applications and requirements are available online at  waelks.org.  Just click the what we do tab on the home page, then click scholarships.  

Nicholas grants are local only,  available for seniors who are U.S. citizens with a GPA between 2.2 and 3.2 only.  Applications are due to the Walla Walla Elks Lodge by March 13.  Contact Walla Walla Elks Lodge Scholarship chairman for Nicholas applications, or questions on any Elks scholarship, Timothy Stewart, tim.wwelkslodge287@gmail.com or 509-301-5483.

 

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313. 

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,