AKA Soror­ity pro­vides needed schol­ar­ships

South Florida Times - - FRONT PAGE - By DAPHNE TAY­LOR Spe­cial to South Florida Times

PALM BEACH GAR­DENS, Fla. - When you can't af­ford to send your child to col­lege, be­ing awarded a schol­ar­ship can make all the difference in the world.

That is why the Zeta Tau Omega Chap­ter of Al­pha Kappa Al­pha Soror­ity, Inc., is mak­ing a difference in the lives of a many stu­dents in Palm Beach County.

The soror­ity out­per­formed its his­tory at their An­nual Mother/Daugh­ter Lun­cheon held at PGA Na­tional Re­sort in Palm Beach Gar­dens last Satur­day.

In pre­vi­ous years they've pro­vided as much as $20,000 in schol­ar­ships, but this year they awarded a record $25,000.

"We do this be­cause there is a need," said chap­ter pres­i­dent Traci Cartwright Boy­saw. "Col­lege is so ex­pen­sive and we want to help as many stu­dents as we can."

Boy­saw said it's a tes­ta­ment to the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s be­lief in ed­u­ca­tion.

Event chair­per­son Delores Oliver Cal­loway, said it all goes back to the founders of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

"I see it as a con­tin­u­a­tion of the tenets that the soror­ity was founded on ---ser­vice in our com­mu­nity," said Cal­loway. "In the spirit of our founders, we con­tinue to help our young peo­ple pre­pare for to­mor­row."

Al­pha Kappa Al­pha is the first col­lege soror­ity in Amer­ica to be formed by black women; founded in 1908 at Howard Univer­sity in Wash­ing­ton, DC. The or­ga­ni­za­tion is known for their clas­sic col­ors, salmon pink and ap­ple green, and their com­mit­ment to com­mu­nity ser­vice. Chap­ters, na­tion­wide, have helped young African Amer­i­cans seek­ing higher ed­u­ca­tion as well as pro­vid­ing sup­port for issues of fam­ily, health, and en­trepreneur­ship.

The stu­dents, 21 of them, were on hand for the schol­ar­ship pre­sen­ta­tion. They rep­re­sent var­i­ous high schools around Palm Beach County.

The soror­ity raises the money through­out the year with var­i­ous events, and holds a pub­lic event such as the lun­cheon, so their donors can see where the money goes.Yes, $25,000 is a siz­able amount of money, but the group would even hope to sur­pass that amount in the fu­ture, said Cal­loway.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion hon­ored those who are also com­mit­ted to com­mu­nity ser­vice. Their "Cul­tured Pear Award," was pre­sented to Mary Feåacher, a se­nior cit­i­zen who is ac­tive at her church, Hurst Chapel African Methodist Epis­co­pal Church in Riviera Beach. She is pres­i­dent of the Cle­vie B. Davis Women's Mis­sion­ary So­ci­ety, where one of her mis­sions is award­ing Christ­mas gifts to chil­dren of those who are in­car­cer­ated.

The chap­ter's "Trea­sured Pearl Award" was pre­sented to Sylvia Carol Grant who founded the Price­less Pearls Youth Am­bas­sadors. She said she had a dream at the age of 16 which guided her to help young girls make the dif­fi­cult tran­si­tion into wom­an­hood.

Devyn Hill, a grad­u­at­ing se­nior from Wil­liam T. Dwyer High School re­ceived the "Trea­sured Pearl Award," which goes to a youth. Hill is highly ac­tive in sev­eral ini­tia­tives with the Ur­ban League of Palm Beach County. With a 3.6 grade point av­er­age, Hill is plan­ning to at­tend Florida A & M Univer­sity in Septem­ber.

Boy­saw says the soror­ity is ded­i­cated to equip­ping stu­dents for suc­cess in an ever-ex­pand­ing world. "It goes along with our motto to pro­mote ed­u­ca­tion be­cause it is the key, “said Boy­saw. “We want to make sure our kids are pre­pared for a global so­ci­ety.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF HAMIL­TON MUL­TI­ME­DIA

PINK AND GREEN: Twenty-one stu­dents were given schol­ar­ships through the fundrais­ing efforts of the lo­cal Al­pha Kappa Al­pha Soror­ity, Inc. Zeta tau Omega Chap­ter.

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