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Supporting the education of the next generation of rail shippers.

Scholarships

George J. Elking Jr. Scholarship Fund

Each year, the Southwest Association of Rail Shippers (SWARS) provides scholarships to qualified applicants. Scholarships are administered at the sole discretion of SWARS and awards are conferred on a competitive basis. Funding is made available only for the scholastic year beginning in the fall semester following notification of a scholarship award.

Who is George J. Elking, Jr?

George J. Elking, Jr., whom the SWARS Elking Scholarship is named after, started his railroad career with the Missouri Kansas Texas (Katy) Railroad in September, 1961 as a rate clerk in St. Louis, Missouri and worked his way up to Assistant Vice President of Sales (1974-1988) in their Dallas office. When the Union Pacific acquired the Katy, George moved to Slay Industries as their Vice President of Marketing & Sales headquartered in Plano, Texas.

George assisted SWARS in achieving attendance records in the 1980’s, then when SWARS fell on rough times in the 1990’s, he & Mike Taber (Chevron Phillips) resurrected the Association from a low attendance of 45 in 1994, laying the basis for current high attendance figures. George served as president of SWARS in 1995 and NARS (North American Rail Shippers Association) in 1998. George received the NARS Person of the Year Award in 1987, NARS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and SWARS Person of the Year Award twice! Today in retirement George continues to be one of SWARS biggest boosters and encourages young people throughout SWARS territory to apply for scholarships and to seek railroad and/or rail shipper employment.

George attended St. Louis University and completed Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business Development Program.

George J. Elking, Jr. is one of the continuing Saints of the Southwest Association of Rail Shippers!

If you have any questions regarding the scholarship including requests for exceptions, you may contact the SWARS Scholarship Committee Chair, Gail Molek, at SWARSscholarship@gmail.com.

Online Application Form

Scholarship Guidelines

Scholarship Donors – Fall 2022

2022 Scholarship Recipients

Photos of 2022 Scholarship Recipients

Past Scholarship Recipients

If you have any questions regarding the scholarship including requests for exceptions, you may contact the SWARS Scholarship Committee Chair, Gail Molek, at SWARSscholarship@gmail.com.

Scholarship FAQs

How are recipients selected?

Scholarship recipients will be chosen from qualified students who meet the eligibility requirements and submit a completed application packet before the deadline. Scholarship recipients will be selected according to merit on a competitive basis and with regard to financial need. The scholarship committee will choose the recipients by evaluating each eligible student’s self-description, academic performance, community involvement, employment history and financial status. Additional consideration will be given to those pursuing a degree program in a transportation related industry, and those who have some connection to SWARS. Selected recipients will be featured on promotional materials at SWARS meetings and on our website. All selected recipients will be asked to submit a picture for this purpose.

How do I submit my application?

When the application has been completed online, click SUBMIT to send it to our Scholarship Committee.

Letters of Recommendation must be emailed separately by the author to SWARSscholarship@gmail.com .

What do I need to include with my scholarship application?

Application – The Signature Block on the on-line application form MUST be checked.

Academic Transcript – Does not need to be certified; a clear copy is acceptable.

ACT or SAT Test Results – For 2022, ACT/SAT scores are OPTIONAL.

List of Extracurricular Activities – Applicants should detail on a separate sheet their community involvement and extracurricular activities including awards and achievements (limited to 1 page).

Work History – Applicants are required to submit their employment history. The ideal format is a list in table form indicating job start and stop dates, position title, and company name. Resumes will be accepted, but should not include any of the applicant’s personally identifiable information such as name or address.

Personal Statement2022 Topic: Please share how the recently passed Infrastructure Bill will influence your education and career goals. Any special circumstances which you wish considered should be incorporated. Personal statements should be typed with a maximum length of 2 pages (double-spaced), be relevant to the essay topic, and expressed clearly with proper grammar and punctuation. The awards committee reviews all statements anonymously, so please DO NOT include any identifying information such as name or address.

Academic Letter of Recommendation – The academic letter of recommendation should be from a school counselor, teacher, or professor. The letter writer must email the recommendation directly to the SWARS Scholarship Committee at SWARSscholarship@gmail.com. The letter should be typed and sent electronically.  The applicant’s name should not appear in the body of the letter – or in the subject line of the email; use the Unique ID provided when the scholarship application is submitted electronically.  Again, the awards committee reviews all statements anonymously, so please do not include any identifying information such as name or address.

Personal Letter of Recommendation – The personal letter of recommendation should be from someone who has a personal relationship with the applicant.  Parents/guardians, grandparents, or other relatives ARE NOT ELIGIBLE to provide the personal letter of recommendation. The letter writer must email the recommendation directly to the SWARS Scholarship Committee at SWARSscholarship@gmail.com The letter should be typed and sent electronically.  The applicant’s name should not appear in the body of the letter – or in the subject line of the email; use the Unique ID provided when the scholarship application is submitted electronically.  Again, the awards committee reviews all statements anonymously, so please do not include any identifying information such as name or address.

PLEASE NOTE – IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH APPLICANT TO ENSURE THAT THE SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE RECEIVES ALL REQUIRED APPLICATION MATERIALS.  THERE SHOULD BE ONLY THREE (3) SUBMISSIONS: ONE FROM THE APPLICANT, AND ONE FROM EACH OF THE TWO AUTHORS OF THE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION.

**PLEASE NOTE – ONLY THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE APPLICATION WILL BE CONSIDERED. ADDITIONAL LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION WILL BE DISREGARDED**

What is the amount of the scholarship(s)?

The scholarship stipend is a one-time disbursement typically $1,000 (USD) or more as determined by the scholarship committee. Funds will be disbursed directly to the college or university at which the recipient is enrolled. Scholarship recipients from prior years are eligible to receive multiple awards but must re-apply each year.

What is the George J. Elking Jr. Scholarship Fund?

The Southwest Association of Rail Shippers (SWARS) is one of five regional associations whose purpose is to provide an open forum for railroads, shippers, and other related parties to meet and discuss matters of mutual interest including service, car supply, scheduling, operating practices and technology. SWARS’ region includes the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Southern California (from and including Fresno and points South), Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah, as well as the Republic of Mexico.

The George J. Elking Jr. Scholarship Award is dedicated to helping individuals throughout the SWARS region with financial support to achieve their education and career goals. It is SWARS’ hope recipients become active in the logistics and transportation fields, but wants to help deserving individuals studying in all fields of education and business.

Each year, SWARS provides scholarships to qualified applicants. Scholarships are administered at the sole discretion of SWARS and awards are conferred on a competitive basis. Funding is made available only for the scholastic year beginning in the fall semester following notification of a scholarship award.

When is the application due?

Applications must be submitted online by 11:59 pm on April 27, 2022, without exception.

Who is Eligible?

Undergraduate college students in good standing and college bound high school seniors residing in the SWARS geographical territory.  Students from the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Southern California (from and including Fresno and points south thereof), Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and the Republic of Mexico are eligible. The student MUST reside in the SWARS region. The address on the student’s transcript will determine eligibility. All applicants must be citizens of the U.S.A., Mexico, or Canada.  Students must be enrolled to attend a college or university in the United States, Mexico, or Canada.  The school must be fully accredited by its regional accrediting commission on higher education and the student must be registered in a course of study leading to a traditional baccalaureate degree.  Scholarship recipients from prior years are eligible to receive multiple awards but must re-apply each year.  A maximum of four (4) awards will be given to any individual.

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