By Michelle Coro
Ivy Leaf Reporter/Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Celebrating the importance of education at the annual Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., scholarship luncheon, eight young women were handed certificates and access to more than $20,000 to cultivate their learning at the colleges of their choice, thanks to the generosity of the Phoenix community.
Sorority President Dr. Eula Saxon-Dean opened the afternoon ceremony with words of encouragement and praise to the gathered group of sorority sisters, supportive parents, family members and award recipients, who worked hard to share and receive financial blessings from the organization. The luncheon, held May 18 at the Embassy Suites in the Phoenix Biltmore area, was the result after a highly competitive group of academically elite applicants were narrowed down by the scholarship committee and its chairs, Jessica Baker and Natalie Goode, who presented the winners (see bios and photos below).
Monies for the scholarships are generated primarily through support of the AKA Fashionetta, which will be held Dec, 7, 2019, at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, 902 East Greenway Parkway in Scottsdale. Doors open at 8 a.m. with the show starting at 8:45 a.m. Purchase premium seating tickets for $110 or general seating at $90 from a Delta Beta Omega chapter member or by visiting the website.
Delta Beta Omega Chapter celebrates more than 50 years of service in the Phoenix community. The mission of the Phoenix AKARAMA Foundation is to raise and award funds for programs that advance leadership development, encourage academic excellence, improve health, support those in need and educate about the value of philanthropy. For more Information about the event and the Phoenix AKRARAMA Foundation, please visit www.phxakarama.org.
The scholarship winners:
Kennedy Diggs, Zeta Alpha Undergraduate Excellence Award
Arizona State University, major in Philosophy (Morality, Politics, and Law) and Justice Studies
Kennedy Diggs is a senior who is excited to be the recipient of the Zeta Alpha Undergrad Excellence Scholar scholarship. Since kindergarten, Kennedy took pride in her academics and pushed beyond her limits. While her interests include spending time with her dog, hiking and knitting, her focus throughout her time at Arizona State University has been on her education. Kennedy has maintained a 3.92 GPA while remaining present and active in her community. She landed her dream internship as a paralegal at a corporate firm. Following in her big sister Vanessa’s footsteps, she decided to become a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Since then, she fell in love with the sorority, the sisterhood and the service. Upon graduating, Kennedy would like to attend ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law to become a corporate attorney. She gives thanks to her grandmother for her unconditional love, work ethic and support. She could not have done it without her.
Occidental College in LA, major in Political Science
Kenya was busy as captain of cheer two years in a row, member of a state-ranked Academic Decathlon, president of AP club, vice president of Germanic Culture club, vice president of National French Honors Society and treasurer of National Honor Society. She participates yearly in the Laveen parade and Laveen BBQ and tutors peers in AP classes, depending on her available time. Her interests include baking, reading and playing games with her family. She also loves a good plate of chicken wings! She plans to continue her education while participating in an internship. Her favorite quote is “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand,” by Randy Pausch, from The Last Lecture.
Spelman College, major in International Studies with an emphasis in Political Science
Kyarah is involved in numerous extracurricular activities, including National Honor Society (vice president), Leo Community Service Club (secretary), French Honor Society (member), Yearbook (copy editor) and Black Student Union (member). When it comes to her community involvement, the list continues as LEO Club Community service coordinator (Relay for Life, Feed My Starving Children, 12K for Christmas, Smiles for Christmas, United Blood Service Blood Drives), Perry Public Library teen volunteer (Summer Reading Program volunteer, storytime helper). She loves the color orange and enjoys photography, editing and making short films. Give this young lady a plate of pasta and she is happy! After college, her goal is to work for the United Nations. The quote that inspires her most is by Maya Angelou: “Good done anywhere is good done everywhere… As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.”
University of Arizona, major in Biology
The next time you have a meal at Café Zupas, you just might be having your food prepared by Meredith, who works a line server for the restaurant. When she’s not studying or making hungry people happy, she gives her time as a volunteer at the nursing home Life Care Center of North Glendale. The color blue fills her with peace while she enjoys reading fiction books and watching movies. Hot and gooey mozzarella sticks make her mouth smile. Meredith’s goal after college is to go to medical school and study to become a neonatologist. Her favorite quote is by Jackie Robinson: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, double major in Environmental Studies and Economics
Bailey is an ultra-involved person as captain of the North High varsity golf captain, author of Bailey Bakes, a student in Jr. ACE Program at South Mountain Community College, a member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and a student in MIT Online Science, Technology and Engineering Community (MOSTEC). She has devoted time in the community to be a lead researcher in an Aquaponics Case Study and chair on Arizona Science Center Teen Advisory Board. Seeing the intriguing nuances in the color gray, Bailey enjoys culinary arts, traveling, politics, golf and finance. A big bowl of pozole rojo makes her happy. Her goals after college includes earning a Rhodes Scholarship. Her favorite quote is “Give them no excuse.”
Spelman College or Howard University
Camryn touts her extracurricular activities as being part of the Jack and Jill of America as its 2018-2019 Teen Foundation Chair, recreational tennis, Seville Veterinary Hospital as a volunteer and the University of Pennsylvania Summer Veterinary Camp in 2018. In the community, she is busy as a member of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church and a volunteer with the Salvation Army, the Best Friends Animal Society, Feed My Starving Children Volunteer and Hashtag Lunch Bag. With a passion for purple, her hobbies and interests are as deep as her favorite color: drawing, tennis, animals/veterinary medicine, bicycling, hiking, psychology, marine life, astronomy, cooking, memorabilia collecting, international travel, movies and television/comic conventions. With all that, she can always make time to enjoy BBQ ribs or burritos. Camryn’s goals after college include owning a veterinary practice or working in a teaching veterinary hospital and having a comfortable life with a husband. Kids and puppies! It’s no surprise that Camryn has two favorite quotes. One comes from Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And the other is from Walt Disney: “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.”
University of Arizona, major in computer science with a focus on forensics and double minor in entrepreneurship and Spanish
Arianna loves to dance. It fills her life when she’s not studying or involved in the community where she participates in cleaning up a local park, volunteering at YMCA Healthy Kids Days in order to teach kids about living a healthy life or volunteering at Feed My Starving Children, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Phoenix Fashion Week and Breast Cancer Awareness Walks. She loves the color gold with interests in dancing, cooking and adventure. A serving of macaroni and cheese makes her do the happy dance! Arianna’s goal after college is to become an engineering program manager at Apple and give back to the people who helped her succeed. Her favorite quote is from Tene Edwards: “You must find the courage to leave the table if respect is no longer being served.”
Stanford University, major in Human Biology with a minor in dance
Weighted GPA: 4.73
Tianna participated in the BASIS Mesa chapter of the National Honors Society as the president, the BASIS Mesa varsity volleyball and track and field teams and the BASIS Mesa yearbook club. She has been involved in her church’s youth ministry as a singer on the worship team and volunteers in the nursery during services. She co-created the first mentor program at her school, pairing older students with younger ones with the goal of helping younger kids maneuver life at BASIS. She also helped set up monthly pep assemblies to share and promote the character traits that the school emphasizes. Her favorite color is specifically salmon pink! Tianna loves to sing, dance and act. Music has always been a big part of her life and she has taken up ukulele in the past three years. She also became interested in fitness and nutrition. She loves a good order of fish and chips. Tianna’s life goals after college include getting her PhD in naturopathic medicine and then starting her practice. After she retires, she hopes to start a dance studio that offers cheap or free classes for girls and boys whose families can’t afford to do what they love. She wants to get married and have kids. She has two favorite scriptures: “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (1 Peter 4:10) and “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:12-14)
About the Phoenix AKARAMA Foundation
The Phoenix AKARAMA Foundation is the fundraising arm of the Phoenix Alumni Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Established in 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha is the first sorority for African-American college women in the United States. The Phoenix AKARAMA Foundation was formed to strengthen Alpha Kappa Alpha’s charitable efforts within the Greater Phoenix community. The Phoenix AKARAMA Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) public educational charity.