The Emerging Young Leaders program of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Omega Omega Chapter recently held its graduation luncheon at Barraque Street Baptist Church to honor eighth-grade students completing the program and sixth and seventh-grade students involved as well.

The Emerging Young Leaders program of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Omega Omega Chapter recently held its graduation luncheon at Barraque Street Baptist Church to honor eighth-grade students completing the program and sixth and seventh-grade students involved as well.


The theme for the luncheon was "Because I’m Worth It in the Mirror." The luncheon featured a family fashion show and musical entertainment presented by EYL program participants.


The speaker for the event was Miche’la Martin, the newly elected, 85th Miss University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the Alpha Rho Chapter. Martin encouraged the girls "to respect themselves, listen to their parents, and to always believe in themselves. She also expressed the importance of knowing the difference between real world reality and reality TV." Emphasis was placed on not allowing others to determine their worth.


The eighth-grade graduates recognized during the luncheon were Atlantis Alexander, Ridgway Christian School; Elise Darton and Kerissa Gipson, Robert Morehead Middle School; Jaidan Woods, Jack Robey Junior High School; and Kimerra Handley, Watson Chapel Junior High School.


Seventh-grader, Alyssa Alley, Ridgway Christian School, was presented with the Renee Wine Spirit Award. This award is named in honor of a past outstanding member of the sorority who positively supported the EYL Program and a great community servant. The prestigious award was presented to Alyssa because of her demonstration of poise, wholeheartedness, charisma and support of others.


Sixth and seventh-grade Emerging Young Leaders also acknowledged were Destiny Lindsey, Ridgway Christian School; Priscilla Foreman, White Hall Junior High; Jael Gates, Reunna Jones, Kayla Foots, Jayla Foots, Pashu’ar Grissom and Infinity Washington, Robert Morehead Middle School; Dayzha Hawkins, Watson Chapel Junior High; Tymonica Creggett, Sho’Relle Smith and Raven Davis, Belair Middle School.


The Emerging Young Leaders Program is one of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s signature programs targeting girls between grades six and eight. Through this program, the girls are taught leadership development, civic engagement, enhanced academic preparation and character building.


According to a sorority spokesman, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., believes that positive youth development is a powerful influence on adolescent behavior. It protects young people from many risky behaviors and promotes positive attitudes and actions.


Terri Jackson, chapter president, said "Pine Bluff is very fortunate to have these outstanding young girls. Just keep reading the paper and watching the news, they all have a positive attitude and vision that will bring a positive change to our community. We further congratulate their parents on a job well-done."


The co-chairs for Emerging Young Leaders are Monique Benford, Kelli Dixon, Marguerite Flannigan and Erin Pilcher. Toni McCastle is vice president and program chair for the chapter. Delta Omega Omega and Alpha Rho Chapter members served as hostesses.


For more information about the program, email Ivy Leaf reporter, Mattie P. Collins at kencol1@msn.com.