Like many young girls, I wanted to be just like my mother.
I would watch her as she styled her hair, dabbed on perfume and clasped a string of pearls around her neck.
Listening to my mother and her sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. discuss parenting, world issues and the “old times” would leave me mesmerized.
They were so beautiful.
But their beauty not only stemmed from their physical attributes. It radiated through the eloquence in their speech, the confidence in their stride, and the devotion they had to one another and their community. These women were the epitome of style and grace, and at the core of their bond was Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Still, I could not comprehend the concept of being a member of this sorority that my mother had been initiated into in the fall of 1984 at Middle Tennessee State University.
But I knew, because of how they carried themselves as women, to be accepted as a member would be a monumental feat.
So my decision to attend Georgia State University was quickly followed by my decision to seek membership into the sorority that had already been etched into my heart by the illustrious and distinguished women of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Once I was granted membership on April 27, 2014 in the “Enchanting” Eta Mu Chapter at GSU – and connecting with like-minded women -- I understood the phrase “membership has its privileges.”
A true Alpha Kappa Alpha woman recognizes the importance of giving back whenever and to whomever she can. Like my participation in the “AKA One Million Backpacks Drive,” where we are collecting backpacks filled with school supplies for children who may not otherwise receive these essential tools for learning.
I was also able to volunteer with a wonderful organization that created a boutique of donated prom dresses, shoes and jewelry to allow teenage girls so that they could experience the joys of shopping for prom, absolutely free.
This past holiday season we hosted several food, clothes and toy drives to make sure that everyone was able to have a blessed holiday. Seeing the excitement on their faces, as well as their parents, was a very humbling experience.
One of the most memorable projects I participated in involved feeding the homeless in Hurt Park. Although the homeless people were thankful and felt as though they had received a blessing from us, I realized they were the ones who provided the blessing.
My heart was touch greatly as they prayed with us and for us, while singing “You’ve Been So Faithful.”
It is in these moments that I am most humbled and grateful for my many blessings.
In May 2015 I joined the sorority’s 2015 class of Leadership Fellows in Austin, Texas, where I participated in workshops for my personal, profession and sorority goals. Along with support, I received yearlong coaching from an experienced and knowledgeable mentor, who is a top professional Alpha Kappa Alpha woman in her field.
So as I embark on my final semester at GSU student as a senior chemistry major, I am thankful for my undergraduate experiences as an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman.
I am very proud and excited of the path I have chosen in life and as I grow older, I am realizing that representation is vitally important.
When I was young I watched my mother. And it was because of her and the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha that I knew that I could be anything in this world I wanted to be.
So why not be the best?