A student at Hopewell Valley Central High School​, Benjamin Schragger, has advanced to the top 20 national finalists in the Elks National Foundation’s Most Valuable Student scholarship contest. After several rounds of judging, Benjamin was determined one of the top in the country and will receive a scholarship of at least $20,000, and will be eligible for the top awards of $30,000, $40,000, or $50,000.

On April 24, the top 20 Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student National Finalists will travel to Chicago, home of the Elks headquarters, for the second annual MVS Leadership Weekend. 

A total of 19,257 high school seniors applied for an Elks National Foundation MVS scholarship this year. Of these, 480 runners-up will receive $4,000 scholarships. The top 20 scholars who attend the Leadership Weekend have the chance at a $50,000 scholarship.

The 500 MVS scholars are an impressive group. They boast an average GPA of 4.283 GPA on a 4.0 scale, collectively volunteered for 278,591 hours throughout high school, and are all leaders in their communities. Benjamin Schragger stood out as one of the best of the best among this accomplished group. The staff, administrators, and students of Hopewell Valley Central High should be proud of this impressive feat!

Through the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, high school seniors can apply for a college scholarship of up to $50,000. Applications are available in September. Winners of this year’s contest will be announced online by April 30 at To meet this years’ top MVS scholars and to learn more about Elks National Foundation scholarships, visit, follow them on Twitter and Instagram @ElksScholars, or like them on Facebook.

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, and a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, photographing mushrooms, and misguided adventures in random hobbies. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), serves on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance, and holds the elected position as the Hopewell Borough Democratic Committee Municipal Chairwoman.