AKA: an organization of lifelong service and sisterhood

For some, the sorority and fraternity life ends after college graduation. For me, the real benefits of sorority life began after graduation. I was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) 26 years ago and I cherish my sorority membership today more than ever before. Most people think that my involvement is social and are surprised to learn how much community service is involved along with leadership and professional development. As the president of the Plano chapter, I am responsible for implementing the sorority’s program goals which include five program target areas: (1) Education Enrichment (2) Health Promotion (3) Family Strengthening (4) Environmental Ownership and (5) Global Impact.

On any given weekend you can see the members of the Plano chapter (also known as the Chi Zeta Omega Chapter or CZO) beautifying the playgrounds of Memorial Elementary School in East Plano or donating, along with 60,000 other AKAs, 1 million backpacks to students over the next four years. CZO offers mentoring ans scholarship opportunities for high school girls and boys through its A.S.C.E.N.D. program and Pearl&Ivy programs for girls. We also do various events to raise awareness of health issues along with our community partners National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), American Heart Association (AHA) and the Alzheimer’s Association. Further, we donate clothing and food to those in need locally and in Africa.

Additionally, the chapter works to raise awareness and funds for historically black colleges and universities, HBCU’s. Our beloved sorority was founded in 1908 on the campus of Howard University, a HBCU, so this a way giving back to institutions that afforded African Americans so much.

In between all of community service, we attend annual conferences that focus on leadership development and offer recognition for the hard work we do. We also have a little fun supporting the events of other civic and service organizations.

When you see me and my sorority sisters wearing pink and green, I hope that you now have an idea of why we are so proud to wear the letters AKA. Many of us have found life-long friendships through our membership. A line from our national hymn describes our sisterhood best – “We help each for we know there is no other like our sisterhood.”

To learn more about the activities of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. ®, Chi Zeta Omega chapter, visit our website http://www.akaczo.org.

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