Looking at the synonyms for the word “engaged” sheds light on what it may look like for us as alumna members to be involved… association, participation, sharing, taking part, or involvement.
Whether you just graduated or have been an alumna member for many years there is never a more perfect time to be actively engaged! Our beloved AOII offers many ways to be involved. All we need to do is find the right place to serve. As the old adage says, “you will get back more than you give” is certainly true when serving your sisters.
Anna Guerra the Baton Rouge Alumnae Chapter President shared with me why she has stayed involved:
“Truly, it’s been the encouragement of others.
First and foremost, I think my engagement comes from my mom. She always taught me to give back, share my time and skills, and be active in my community.
I never really saw myself as a leader in AOII. I always felt like a great team member, but with encouragement from alumnae Patti Dowie, Charlene Favre, and Alysia Fortier, I decided to take on being an alumnae chapter president. I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to take on the job on my own. The alumnae chapter members also keep me motivated by showing up for meetings, participating in extra activities, and having positive feedback for our programming.
Additionally, I work hard at motivating alumnae to stay involved, and that doesn’t mean they have to join an alumnae chapter. It can be by supporting a fundraiser, reading emails to stay informed, a donation to a collegiate chapter project during recruitment, giving of their time, or sending encouragement to their sisters.”
The new year is a perfect time to challenge yourself to do a few of these things in the next few months:
- Reach out to 3-5 sisters with a text that you haven’t spoken to in quite some time.
- Send a note to a sister whom upon you have no fear to call.
- Send a thank you note to a sister who helped shape your AOII experience.
- Request to join the local alumnae chapter Facebook group.
- Like the Facebook pages of local collegiate chapters.
- Support a local alumnae chapter by paying alumnae dues.
- Join an alumnae chapter.
- Start an AOII alumnae book club.
- Reach out to a collegiate chapter to support them during recruitment.
- Attend an alumnae chapter event.
Our service may be through a volunteer position, or just taking time for fellowship with a sister. Each AOII’s journey is different from their collegiate to alumna experience. Start, or continue, your alumna involvement by exploring some of the opportunities available for you to lead the Fraternity through service.
Many volunteers have shared over the years that serving as an adviser has been their best alumnae experience. Depending on the officer you advise, it can be quite a time commitment, so make sure you find the right fit for you. Often, it can lead to service beyond the local chapter. Please enjoy the insight Executive Board Member, Jaynellen Behre Jenkins has to share:
“Upon my graduation, I knew there was more I wanted to give to AOII. Looking back, my inspiration came from the words shared in our Ritual. I served as an alumna adviser because I wanted to work my best to support my collegiate chapter and help it reach its full potential. The relationships built with those I advised resulted in lifelong friendships. Together, we began to serve as leaders in our local alumnae chapter. I was also eager to tap into the vast network of AOIIs outside my collegiate chapter. Serving as an international volunteer for AOII brought cherished friendship into my life, these alumnae experiences provided me with women who are my role models and mentors. Today, being an engaged alumna also means being that friend upon who others have no fear to call. I see this every day in the strong relationships that still remain among my chapter sisters. I also experience it locally with my AOII alumnae friends that I know I can always count on. Our Founders intended for AOII to help maintain their friendships beyond their college years. Each generation passes that legacy on to the next. AOIIs wherever found are our sisters.”
For Alumnae Chapters
Maybe you are already a highly engaged member of AOII and you wish there were more ladies to serve with you? Take the chance to reach out to a sister to see how she may want to get involved! Maybe a sister is just waiting to for you to hear from you.
Sandy Stewart, former Education Committee Chairman recruited many team members over her years serving as an international volunteer. In a conversation with Sandy about staying involved she shared, “Without a doubt, the thing that keeps me engaged, is the relationships. I love all of the sisters I’ve gotten to meet and serve with and if I didn’t serve, I wouldn’t be able to stay in touch! And, as my dear sister, Jaynellen Jenkins says, “it’s all about that one sister you can’t say no to.”
Laura Dunlap is an alumna of Kappa Tau (Southeastern Louisiana U) and a member of the Education Committee. Pictured above: Susan Danko, Past International President presents Anna Guerra the Alumnae Woman of Leadership Award at Convention 2017 in Washington, D.C.