Since their establishment on January 13, 1913 on the campus of Howard University (In Washington, DC), the women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. are synonymous with the term leadership, service, community empowerment, and scholarship. Ranging from (but clearly not limited to) icons such as Dr. Sadie T.M. Alexander (the first African-American woman to earn a PhD in economics), Dr. Alexa Canady (the first African-American female neurosurgeon), Dr. Dorothy Height (who serves as president of the National Council of Negro Women for more than 40 years), and Mary McLeod Bethune, education and scholarship clearly are among the hallmarks of this highly respected organization.
The theme of scholarship is present among all of its chapters, including the Gwinnett County Alumnae Chapter (based in Lawrenceville). Through their partnership with the Fortitude Foundation, Inc., the chapter is providing scholarship opportunities to graduating high school seniors, in particular those in their servicing area (Gwinnett County).
Since the inception of their scholarship program (in 2003), slightly more than $55,000 in financial assistance is provided to young men and women who are attending four year institutions of higher learning. Previous recipients are attending institutions such as Florida A & M University, Georgia Southern University, Emory University, and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Given the rising costs of a college education, combined with recent statistics which indicate decreasing opportunities for students who are qualified to attend, opportunities such as the one provided by the chapter are indeed timely and needed. Chapter President Candace Medlin notes that in 2010, “…we (in partnership with the Fortitude Foundation, Inc.) awarded scholarships in excess of $20,000”; this in and of itself highlights the chapter’s focus on the importance and relevance of higher education.
For more details, including downloading a copy of the application, requirements, and deadlines, students are strongly encouraged to access the chapter’s website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Intelligence is the torch of wisdom; this is not simply a motto for the women of the Gwinnett County Chapter and their fellow members to rally around. It is the catalyst in which service, outreach, and investment in young people and our communities is realized.