Dear Future Sister,
This year promised big things for you – walking across the stage of graduation, celebrating “last” milestone events, saying goodbye to friends as you embrace a future filled with possibility. Then, a global pandemic put an end to so many of these plans. Yet, we have learned that your generation is resourceful, shifting to virtual platforms to remain connected, creating memories behind masks, and celebrating milestones with drive-thru graduation ceremonies and birthday parades.
On behalf of Alpha Omicron Pi’s Executive Board, I want to congratulate you on all that you have accomplished. We are living in difficult and uncertain times. This uncertainty presents challenges that can become overwhelming for college students and create anxiety about the future. We want you to know that we are here for you.
Like you, we are heartbroken for our graduating seniors, who will not be able to celebrate the traditional rites of passage they have worked so hard to achieve. We are disappointed for our members who are missing opportunities for professional internships, to study abroad, and to participate in summer programs. We are worried about our members who are now facing financial uncertainty and must make decisions about their own paths in higher education. We are also mourning alongside our members who are experiencing illness and loss in their own families and among their friends.
The silver lining of this pandemic has been to see how our members have connected in new and innovative ways during this time of social distancing. They have remained engaged, creating connections and relying on one another for strength and support. They have built a network of friends that will extend beyond this pandemic and beyond their college years, just as our Founders intended.
Personally, I am the parent of two high school students. We have braved these last weeks and months sheltering in place, distance learning, and celebrating milestone moments at home. We have laughed and cried. We have had hard conversations about our future – how our plans have changed and how they will likely change again. Vacations canceled. Events postponed. Life as we know it reimagined.
In AOII, we seek to inspire ambition. Our goal is to create a sisterhood experience that builds character, strengthens leadership and life skills, allows our members the opportunity to inspire ambition, promotes service, and creates a sense of belonging for all of our members. As you look toward your future, know that we are working to support our AOII sisters during this global pandemic. We will continue to do so until we can all be together again. We look forward to the day that we can safely welcome all of our sisters back to their home away from home. When that time comes, we hope that you will join us!
Until then, stay safe and be well.
Crystal Grafton Combs