By Jaynellen Behre Jenkins, Phi Beta (East Stroudsburg U), International Vice President
Who inspires your AOII ambition? We often ask one another this question as AOII Executive Board members. It serves to challenge us to think about the replicable experiences that are timeless in our Fraternity. It’s amazing to hear the commonality within the responses. They often include remarks such as:
“My alumnae adviser was an impactful and transformational mentor and later a lifelong friend.”
“My Chapter President taught me through Ritual that AOIIs wherever found are my sisters. I was excited to connect with women beyond my chapter.”
“The lessons during a visit from an international volunteer gave me the courage to lead.”
“It was my AOII Big Sister who first inspired me to serve as an officer.”
The opportunity to share in New Member ceremonies with my own collegiate chapter presented itself this past fall. Executive Board connections in these moments reveal the lastingness of the obligations we share as we mentor our newest members. In the Phi Beta collegians eyes, I saw steadfast fraternity and love for one another. I experienced that incredible sense of belonging that AOII provides while giving each other a safe place to grow. I spent time with an emerging leader who shared the encouragement she was receiving from her sisters to lead. During this exchange, I recalled the love in the eyes of my Chapter President at my initiation. It was clear, even then, that AOII was much more than a club to join for a short period of time, but a relationship to enjoy that would enrich my life for years to come,
Among our 23-25 AOII Executive Board goals is engaging in moments like this with our chapters. Spending MEMBERSHIP CONNECTION time with our sisters at the grassroots level helps to inform our visionary work for the Fraternity. Staying connected helps to also ensure that we remain knowledgeable about your lived experiences and the long range goals you wish to embrace. We welcome the opportunity to connect with chapters, and local leaders during scheduled events, or even for a virtual cup of coffee. Wouldn’t it be fantastic for one of us to be a source of AOII inspiration for your sisters to LEAD?
As we kick off 2024, consider how you are inspiring ambitious AOII leadership. It is through your willingness to SERVE that we ensure that we pass the torch from one set of great AOII leaders to the next. The positivity and the strength of the collegiate experience should feed us with an unending supply of dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers. Do you have relative professional experience and skills to share with others? Can you find even a small amount of time to connect, educate, and inspire?
Our Ritual teaches us that AOII is best served by well chosen members. We also know that well chosen leaders are best served by roles models and mentors who LEAD and SERVE the Fraternity well into the future. Each generation brightens the path in AOII during our officer transitions. Strong volunteer recruitment promotes continuity and growth. Our steadfast and timeless dedication to Fraternity and Love ensures the legacy of AOII. Whose AOII ambition will you INSPIRE in 2024?