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Sorority celebrates growth in Baltimore young ladies

Principal Wheeler and Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Education Committee Chairperson Parks get the culminating activities started.
Principal Wheeler and Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Education Committee Chairperson Parks get the culminating activities started.
Digital photo by V.M. Oliver-Lawson

It is the time of year during which closing exercises are prevalent on a daily basis. This writer was privileged to have attended a very special culmination celebration program on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at Rosemont Elementary/Middle Charter school #063 in Baltimore.

Sorors from the oldest African-American sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, founded in 1908, had been providing services to students at the school and this was the time during which they gave accolades for the growth they observed in the participants throughout the year. The service-oriented sorority has had a program with several areas of focus in which they emphasized Coping With Asthma, Transitioning to High School, Health/Nutrition, Peer Pressure, Tutoring, Mentoring and Character Building as well as Parental Involvement. The program was the result of a plan of action being submitted to the principal, who gave his overwhelming support to the sorors.


The program began with opening remarks by the principal, Dwayne Wheeler and the AKA Education Committee Chairperson, Frances Parks. The family and friends who had gathered were then led via Powerpoint in singing the Negro National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing".

Six of the young particpants presented a skit in which they spoke about the differences and changes the program had made in their self-concepts and lives. They spoke about their aspirations and other benefits of being in the program. (The young ladies had taken a worthwhile trip to Annapolis, courtesy of Senator Delores Kelley, and had even had lunch in her chambers.) Additionally, Thursday May 22, 2014, they are scheduled to have lunch at the Rusty Scupper, a very popular seafood restaurant in the Baltimore area.

Certificates were then distributed to the presenters and facilitators who had made the success of the program possible.

The eighth grade young ladies, who had participated in the mentoring/character building journey, were awarded various certificates, citations from Senator Kelley and other gifts. They were also presented with a framed global leadership postcard, as a constant reminder of this experience. The excitement was evident on each of their faces. The young ladies who had participated in the program throughout the school year are: Shannon Alford, Zybreal Johnson, Sabrea Starks, Venia Jeffries, Taija Phillip, Kiersten Morton, Cheree Johnson, Hayley Boutte, Christia Bostic and Valyncia Blackston.

Closing remarks were provided by the President of the Epsilon Omega Chapter, E. Francine Stokes-McElveen, Ms. Parks and Mr. Wheeler. A reception followed for the participants and supporters who were present.

The very accomplished AKA ladies involved are Frances Parks (AKA Education Committee Chairperson), Tamara Greenhill, Edmonia Yates, Anne Moore, Jean B. Owens, Dawn Ray, Cecelia King, and Adeline Wheless-Hutchinson.

Rosemont Elementary/Middle, 2777 Presstmann Street, is a charter school with oversight by Coppin State University. The principal of the school is Dwayne Wheeler. He can be reached at 410-396-0574.