AKA 2014 Youth Summit: A Success In Learning
The summit to educate, encourage and engage over several
hundred youth attending the “Talk It Out” Summit was an
overwhelming success in Jacksonville, Florida.
Building of leaders is what Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.,
Gamma Rho Omega Chapter, Inc. does well in its national
and international sorority.
Alpha Kappa Alpha’s mission has been to cultivate and
encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, to promote
unity and friendship among college women, to study and
help alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order
to improve their social stature, to maintain a progressive
interest in college life, and to be of “Service to All Mankind.”
These illustrious words carried from the foundation of AKA
Sorority in 1908 extend to the 21st century community
This year’s theme: “Talk It Out” achieved the goals of
Leadership Development, Character Building, Educational
Enrichment, and Civic Engagement through interactive
dialogue and discussion. Youth attending the workshops
held at James Weldon Johnson College Prep were engaged
in discussions from bullying prevention which is on the rise,
budgeting money, STEAM and STREAM careers, Social
Media safety and developing leadership skills necessary
to be successful throughout life.
Betty Burney, educator, motivational speaker, past school board
member with Duval County Public Schools and one of the AKA’s
greatest role models and advocates for education, excites and
motivates all she interacts with. Providing wisdom and foundational
knowledge to the value and empowerment of education.
Taylor Richardson, a fourth grade student commented with
great excitement when asked what she thought of the event
she attended with her mother, learned that she has to work
hard if she is going to be an astronaut (one of her dreams).
Stating further that she doesn’t want McDonalds anymore,
focusing more in a healthier eating lifestyle at a young age
to carry into adulthood.
Events such as this are important for girls; youth, teens and
young adult women to attend because they show how
important engagement is with women that are active and
involved in the community and have successfully completed
higher education, vocational education and even careers in
the military to show girls and young women, and even the
few young men that attended the value of education and
the significance of preparing for future careers.
Sororities like Alpha Kappa Alpha and even fraternities provide
a valuable resource to youth that need to see role models in
business, education, science, medicine and even in careers
not thought of or even considered. The presentation of
STEAM, and STREAM careers provided by William Jackson
of “My Quest To Teach” an educator and presenter that speaks
on careers associated with STEM showed that careers are
continuously in development for youth, teens and young
adults that have not been created yet. Mr. Jackson an
educator of over 20 years teaches Engineering and Technology
in public education and Educational Technology at Edward
Waters College shares that youth especially Black youth need
to enter in careers of STEM – Science Technology
Engineering Math and STEAM Science Technology Engineering
Arts Mathematics. These are careers that are high in salaries,
leadership responsibilities and the opportunity to travel the world.
The growing number of acronyms from CSTEAM
Computer Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics
and STREAM integrating reading and comprehension prepares
students for careers.
Taylor Richardson with excitement still building in her eyes and
a bright excited smile stated that “this (AKA Summit) was the best
experience of her life thus far! To meet a real astronaut and her
be(ing) a girl rocks!! “ Taylor and her mom hope to find a summer
camp that emphasizes STEM and STEAM activities and careers
to continue to motivate and educate girls in these important career
The influence and power of role models like Ms. Juliea Robinson-Nelson
and Dr. Mae Jamison are powerful in motivating girls into careers
that may not be recognized as realistic dreams and goals for inner
city youth. Events like this are important to show girls that they are
intelligent, talented and just as smart as boys in sciences, technology
The upcoming One Spark crowd funding event in Jacksonville, Florida
is another opportunity for girls and women, especially Black women
to seek how to find funding as entrepreneurs, business leaders and
pioneers in diverse areas that provide services and products.
Women are growing as business leaders and need to see models
of success and influence to encourage the next generation of leaders.
Statistics are showing a growing change in the participation of
women in many fields. Women hold only 17 percent of the board seats
on Fortune 500 companies NPR 04/2014. The trend shows the
more women get involved in companies and work up the professional
ladder they are watched by other women and their achievements
are emulated from educational obtainment to career choices.
One of the benefits to summits is the opportunity to network for these
Mr. Jackson, a social media consultant explained to the youth the value
of networking from the model of E3 Business Group of Northeast Florida
http://e3northflorida.org/tag/e3-business-group/ he stated that before
the summit is over they should have networked with three people they
did not know previously, sharing contact and social media information.
Research says the No. 1 unwritten rule of success in business is networking
and youth should be taught and modeled the value of networking to build
relationships that extend in years, creating a foundation of collaboration
and connectivity for future.
The success of the AKA Summit will be seen in the growing futures of
the young ladies and young men in attendance. A young lady thrilled
about participating in the summit stated with passion she wanted to
learn everything there was to be an AKA. What a great testament to the
success of building women and empowering them to exceed their potential.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. http://www.aka1908.com/
AKA Chapter http://akaalphachapter.org/
My Quest To Teach http://MyQuestToTeach.WordPress.com/
Bullying On the Rise http://jacksonville.com/files/interactives/risksurvey/