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The Kappa Blog

Because They Care

(Leadership) Permanent link

Jennifer Lehman, Epsilon Upsilon, Baylor University

Jennifer Lehman

Have you ever been the recipient of a Good Samaritan? I’ve been fortunate enough to experience this inherent goodness more than once in my life, with people who have gone out of their way to do something extraordinary for me.

Recently, while on vacation, I had a memorable encounter with complete strangers who stopped to offer assistance when I needed help – lovely people who inconvenienced themselves for hours simply to help my family. It reminded me of another encounter that happened when I was a college student stranded on an interstate with a flat tire, before cell phones were around. Three young women and I were in the car headed to a college football game when a tire blew. When a man saw us standing on the shoulder of the highway reading the car manual, I can only imagine what he was thinking. But nevertheless, this young husband and father took hours out of his day to help a group of young students.

A busy dad on a busy Saturday morning stops to help a group of clueless co-eds. Why would he do that? Maybe he saw in us his grown-up daughter. Maybe he imagined the alternative and figured if he didn’t stop, the next person who did might not have the best of intentions. Maybe he thought of our dads – far away and unable to help – and hoped that someone would help his little girl some day when she needed it. Regardless of his motivation, something caused him to act, sacrificing his time and family, simply to help someone else. I did not appreciate this act of kindness then, but I have great appreciation for it today.

As I recently reflected on this story, I thought about the volunteers those of us in the nonprofit sector have the privilege of knowing. We all know leaders who serve on boards, volunteer at recruitment events, manage fundraising efforts, serve as advisers, the list goes on and on. What motivates them to do this? There are dozens of answers to that question. But, most importantly, something in their spirits causes them to choose the mission of an organization for a few hours over business, family, and hundreds of other responsibilities.

Why? Because they care.

So take a moment today to think of the volunteers you encounter in your organization. It’s a privilege the for-profit world does not have – people who give selflessly to make someone else’s life better. Volunteers aren’t perfect – sometimes far from it – but if you take the time to learn their motivations and better understand the why, that insight can help you bring out the best in them, which, in turn, means the greatest impact on your organization.

I Helped Start Something Special

(Friendship, Sisterhood) Permanent link

By Charter member Katie Ryan, Eta Rho

Being adventurous and spontaneous is kind of my thing. Which is why I love college—you never know what’s going to happen next or how the next move you make will change your life. 

I never thought of myself as a sorority girl and others viewed me as simply a college athlete. But after leaving the gym one day, I was approached by some students handing out hair-ties and sunglasses with “Be Greek” and “Kappa” printed on them. I knew Kappa Kappa Gamma was coming to Cal Poly and this piqued my interest. One of my best friends is a Kappa from Stanford University, and every time I visited her, I loved spending time with her Kappa sisters. You could tell just by spending a few moments with them how strong the bond of sisterhood was.  

I gave in to spontaneity and attended one of Kappa’s informational meetings. Even though I was nervous and out of my comfort zone, I enjoyed everything the women had to say.

After more informational meetings and an interview, I made the decision to pledge Kappa. I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself, and to leave a legacy at Cal Poly. I wanted to be able to come back in 20 years to a beautiful and flourishing organization and say, “I helped start this.”

The first few weeks of starting a new chapter were stressful. With our Chapter Consultant guiding us, there were a lot of opinions to consider and decisions to be made. As a 21-year-old, third-year student, I knew I wanted to take a leadership role in the development of my chapter, and being a PR major, I was fortunate to be elected as Public Relations Chairman. Once we voted on the other leadership positions, we started to become a cohesive unit. 

Our weekly chapter meetings were organized, fun and something I looked forward to every Sunday. We were establishing ourselves on campus and giving back to the community. We volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club and read Dr. Seuss books to the children and made crafts with them. We also sold cookies to raise money for Kappa’s philanthropic partner, Reading Is Fundamental.

My chapter went all out during Greek Week, and we had huge cheering sections supporting our team at all the events. This was a great opportunity to get to know the other fraternities and sororities. If I hadn’t joined Kappa, I wouldn’t have met these incredible people.

From sisterhood studies at the library, to renting a movie theatre downtown, to our elegant Sapphire Ball, we have shared unforgettable experiences. We’ve had quiet late-night hangouts turn into loud memorable ones by laughing so hard with each other that we cry. Other times, I can talk to one of my sisters about something only she will understand. That’s what sisterhood is all about—an instantaneous bond that can’t be explained with words.

Thanks to Kappa, my college adventure took an unexpected turn. The best part is, this amazing adventure isn’t over … it’s just getting started!


Summer Interns at Headquarters

(Leadership) Permanent link

Carly Intern

Carly, Kentucky, was chosen as the 2013 Catherine Schroeder Graf Heritage Museum intern.  A recent graduate, Carly completed a bachelor’s degree in art history with a minor in classics. Her future plans are to attend graduate school at Indiana University where she aims to achieve a master’s in art history. During her time as a member of the Beta Chi Chapter, she served on the Ritual and the Philanthropy Committees and also served as a Membership Recruitment Counselor for two years.  Outside of Kappa, Carly has interned for several art centers, including the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, Ky. and The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky. Her major projects included assisting with the installation of the museum’s exhibits and cataloguing the collection’s art objects.

At Kappa Headquarters, Carly assisted with the Fraternity’s digital encyclopedia, Kappapedia. Her tasks included uploading photographs from the Kappa archives and writing chapter histories. She has also enjoyed cataloguing Fraternity badges that have been donated to the museum. Carly created exhibition guides for both The Heritage Museum of Kappa Kappa Gamma and The Stewart House Museum and designed an exhibit to be displayed at Fraternity Headquarters.

Interacting with alumnae has been a highlight for Carly. She appreciated the connections she achieved with the members of the museum guild and the docents. Carly also enjoyed hearing stories and memories of her Kappa sisters before her.

Jamie Intern

Jamie, South Carolina, was chosen as the 2013 Fraternity Headquarters intern. Jamie is pursuing a degree in hospitality management with a focus in event planning and will graduate in spring 2014.  An undergraduate member of the Epsilon Kappa Chapter, Jamie has served as Vice President of Public Relations for her Sorority Council, her chapter’s Panhellenic Delegate and will be closing out her senior year as the chapter President, a position she has held since junior year. Outside of Kappa, Jamie enjoys going to sporting events and works weekends at wedding venues. She also enjoys cooking and balancing out her foodie nature with yoga and fitness.  

As the Fraternity Headquarters intern, Jamie has had the pleasure of working with people from several different departments. She helped the communications department with the biannual social media audit and organized website content to improve the search feature. Jamie also compiled evaluations from GIRLS Academy and Leadership 2.0 and tracked Kappa Trainer visits from the past year.  She also helped the extension team prepare for the most recent extension efforts. Becoming an intern while being chapter President has allowed Jamie insight into the workings of Fraternity Headquarters and has given her the opportunity to take back the things she has learned and apply them to her own chapter.

Becoming a Kappa wasn’t something that Jamie expected to happen. She entered Membership Recruitment to make friends and meet new people but did not expect to join a sorority, until she met the ladies of Kappa. She immediately fell in love with the community of women and the home away from home that Kappa provided. Since joining, she has learned to appreciate and depend on the leadership opportunities and support that Kappa and her chapter offer, and to value the networking and relationships that last beyond the collegiate years.

Sarah Intern

Sarah, Valparaiso, was chosen as the 2013 finance intern. She is currently majoring in finance and expects to graduate in spring 2014. An undergraduate member of the Eta Delta Chapter, Sarah is serving her second term as the chapter Treasurer, and she will be serving as the executive treasurer for Student Senate this year.  Outside of Kappa, Sarah is a cheerleader and was lucky enough to travel to the first round of the NCAA Division I Mens Basketball Tournament with the Valparaiso mens basketball team before they were defeated. She enjoys working at the university fitness center for the assistant director for recreational sports in addition to her other activities.

During her internship with Kappa, Sarah finished revisions to the Treasurer Leadership Guide and helped chapter finance review all the chapter budgets and provided feedback to chapter Treasurers. Her other projects included filing all alumnae association tax reports and completing bank reconciliations for both the Fraternity and the Foundation.

Sarah’s favorite thing about being a Kappa is the friendships that she has formed with her sisters. Kappa has opened the doors to her future and, with the help and encouragement of her sisters, Sarah was able to fill her college experience with great experiences and activities. She hopes to pick up the hobby of scrapbooking to capture the wonderful moments Kappa has provided for her.

Intern Group

The Catherine Schroeder Graf Heritage Museum Internship is generously funded by the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation. Internships are 12 weeks long, and qualified Kappas may apply between November 1 and February 1 annually. For more information regarding the internships offered at Kappa, click here.

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