–By Guest Blogger Krysta Levy, USC
On a Saturday morning, 44 middle-school girls from 32nd Street Magnet School in Los Angeles, Calif. toted sleeping bags and jammies, beaming with wide-eyed excitement about spending a weekend at GIRLS Academy. And we were equally excited. After two years of planning, prepping and fundraising, it was game time!
In 2012, I was lucky enough to attend Kappa’s General Convention, where I learned about GIRLS Academy. It was a new initiative and as my chapter’s Philanthropy Chairman, my goal was encouraging hands-on service. We had done a lot of fundraising, but I wanted to make a more tangible impact on our community. Bringing a GIRLS Academy to my chapter was the answer.
A month after Convention, we were chosen to host GIRLS Academy in fall 2013. As the chapter coordinator, I had a long checklist to complete. While the planning seemed overwhelming at times, the staff at Fraternity Headquarters gave me everything I needed to host a successful event. By sticking to the timeline and with help from alumnae, we pulled it off.
During our GIRLS Academy, the students participated in small-group learning and journaling. We discussed everything from body image and self-esteem to money management and how to set and achieve your goals. The girls also got to have some fun: a sleepover with the chapter members with movies, popcorn and dancing. And, the 32nd Street students gave the Kappas some interesting makeovers!
GIRLS Academy was one of the best things to happen to our chapter. The participants learned a lot, but as collegians we learned even more. We fell in love with these girls and are continuing our relationship with them by holding other events.
I encourage every chapter to apply for GIRLS Academy. You learn so much about your community and there’s no better opportunity to bond with members and local alumnae. I met the most inspirational women though GIRLS Academy and I know you will too! Nearly two years of applications, planning and organizing turned into two days of inspiration, learning and bonding. GIRLS Academy was an incredible experience.
To apply to host a Girls Academy, log in to the members page at kappa.org/members, select “conferences” on the left-hand side, and scroll down to find Girls Academy.
Applications for Spring 2015 are due April 1.