By Jaynellen Behre Jenkins, Phi Beta (East Stroudsburg U), International Vice President
Membership in AOII provides our sisters with a lifetime of opportunities for personal development. Our fraternal bonds allow us to practice our leadership skills in a safe and supportive space. Leadership is listed among AOII’s Ends Policies which can best be conveyed as goals or outcomes of your membership. The AOII Ends Policy for LEADERSHIP states that, “AOII members develop and demonstrate impactful leadership and valuable life skills.” Let’s consider a variety of ways we can be impactful AOII Leaders and what does being an AOII Leader also do for YOU?
L: Leading and working in an officer team at the collegiate level contributes to your overall growth and to your chapter’s. You are a role model to your peers and pass high expectations from one generation in your chapter to the next. You identify goals and the specific steps to achieve them. This experience is transferable to other campus organizations and in your future careers. Together with your team, you learn how to make an impact upon your chapter and your campus community.
E: Empowering our sisters as leaders builds their self confidence. We trust them to lead events or represent us on campus and in our communities. We make sure they know we will work our best with body, brain, spirit, and substance alongside them. Our sisters then transfer the skills and the confidence they develop in AOII throughout their future. Confident and empowered AOII leaders advocate for and empower others.
A: Alumnae engagement is vital to the future of the Fraternity. Actively engaged alumnae support us as sisters and friends. They serve as our torch bearer as they pass down their wisdom year after year. Our alumnae serve as a mentors as our sisters embrace new jobs, move to new cities, raise families, and take on leadership roles in their communities. Impactful alumnae leaders see their success in the actions and behaviors of those they lead.
D: Drive and dedication to achieve our goals as leaders helps us to Inspire the Ambitions of our sisters. Does your leadership inspire underclassmen to run for office? Are you supporting your sisters who tackle challenging coursework? Are you mentoring one another as you pursue graduate school and as you build your resumes. Your drive and dedication to AOII and to your passions inspires your sisters to dedicate themselves in a same manner.
E: Equity and access to opportunities is provided by impactful AOII leaders. They know that a more inclusive AOII is a stronger AOII. They include all voices in decisions. They know the unique needs and interest among their members and they work to integrate these into their leadership approach and programs. What are the diverse interests of your sisters? AOII leaders work together to make an impact upon causes that matter to each other.
R: Ritual values placed into action define the work of an impactful AOII leader. They ambitiously pursue our motto. Other service organizations, and those they lead benefit from their willingness to give their time and talent. Their actions reflect credit upon the fraternity and they set the same expectations upon those they serve. A striving chapter and thriving members provide evidence of their impact. Leaning into shared AOII values fuels your spirit and commitment.
The promises we make during officer installation each year are mutual. Our newly elected officers promise to execute their responsibilities and we as members promise to support their efforts along the way. Support comes in the form of education, training and mentorship. And it also means being a sister upon whom our leaders have no fear to call. Showing up, sharing your ideas, and remaining committed is the best way to help leaders grow. Because in AOII, we are invested in helping our sisters become the leaders they are meant to be!