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Alpha Kappa Alpha Members From Across the Country Open Up About Why They Joined Their Sorority

Photo Credit: Eddie Price, Photography // Alpha Kappa Alpha at North Carolina A&T State University, 1969

In a move to highlight the beauty and sisterhood of Black sororities, we at Watch The Yard reached out to our Instagram audience of over 230,000 followers and posed a question for the members of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.

Our question was simple,

What made you want to pledge Alpha Kappa Alpha?

We followed it by asking the members current members how becoming an AKA has changed their lives.

The outpouring of passionate responses from the members who were eager to tell their stories was inspiring. It was very insightful to see that many of the women were drawn to the organization because the service its members do and the sisterhood, legacy, poise and class members exude.

Read some of their responses below:

“I came in contact with Alpha Kappa Alpha in the 7th grade by participating in a scholarship pageant hosted by the Sorority. The Soror that sponsored me accepted nothing less than excellence. She showed me what it meant to be committed, persistent and hold my head high. Not stuck up, but in a kind and confident manner. I knew then there was something special. Ironically, throughout my life, the women who had a major impact on me were AKAs. This organization represents the values and cores I hold true, Service to ALL mankind. I knew there was no other way for me. I didn’t find the finesse, style, grace, fierceness and confidence(that I possessed) in other organizations. I wanted to connect with women of like minds and common goals. I found that in Alpha Kappa Alpha. The courage, boldness and vision of Ethel Hedgeman Lyle personified “be the change”. Since that cold day in 1908 Alpha Kappa Alpha has done just that and will continue to do so. By culture and merit is not just a motto in word; it’s our way of life.” – rgcoachandconsultant

“My grandfathers’ long time girlfriend is a golden Soror. Growing up, she took me to events with her and I met a lot of wonderful ladies including my future high school guidance counselor. She set me up to interview for a college scholarship from her graduate chapter. I received the scholarship and knew that if given the opportunity, I wanted to be part of the sisterhood. I’m grooming my legacy (age 10) now. Ha.” – maydai501

“I grew up in a predominantly white, country area so I wasn’t introduced to any black Greek orgs until I got to college. I went into college with fresh eyes. Once I started college, I started growing in new ways?I started to understand myself more, the type of woman that I aimed to be, and the type of impact that I wanted to make on the world. AKA immediately stuck out to me because I LOVED the programming. I saw women that held themselves to a high standard, gave back to the community in a variety of ways, and had fun doing it! It’s a lifestyle. Everywhere I looked, the most involved, poised, and successful women were Alpha women. All the attributes that I was honing. I knew was for me because I aim to always be of service, AKA is another way of keeping me humble & consistent” – thesweetest_one

“When I was in high school my English teacher was an AKA. She approached me about joining the mentor group. We did community service projects and went to local plays. My senior year they wanted me to participate in the Cottilion Ball. I didn’t have the resources and did not want to burden my family. The members of the chapter did everything from providing my dress, pearls and sponsorship ads so that I could participate. At the end of the ball I was awarded a scholarship for community service and grades. I never forgot that experience and initially wanted to join so that I could give someone else that experience. I was a first generation college graduate and I feel I owe those ladies a lot.” – missusashe

“My mom, my grandmother, mom’s sister, and grandmother’s sister. All Alpha Women. I knew there was no other path for me. I’ve known since I was 3 years old that Alpha Kappa Alpha was in my heart. A majority of the inspirational, dynamic, intelligent women in my life were AKAs so I knew that’s where I was supposed to be because they raised me and instilled the values in me that the believed in and the love for AKA was just a part of that. I remember my mom dressing me up as a LITTLE girl to go to chapter meetings with her and my grandmother. I still believe everyday that it is an HONOR and a privilege to wear pink, green, and those 20 pearls. I LOVE MY AKA” – e_is4_einstein

“I have been an AKA for 28 years. I remember going to the Shomberg Center for Black Culture and researching all of the sororities when I first arrived at college. Historically, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority saw a need for a black sisterhood of college trained women. They researched how to form an organization and then executed. When the organization was challenged throughout history, the women of AKA continued to innovate through Incorporation, through the founding of Graduate Chapters to continue the service as a lifetime member and are still innovating today by being the first to trademark our symbols. The women of AKA have continually set the standard in every field, profession and industry. We have not only gone to space, we have calculated how to get there. I am and always have been an Alpha female. I want to be the best. I want to lead. I want to set the standard for myself and others. Once I recognized the amazing history of this organization and what the legacy was that they were striving towards….there was no other choice for me. I love my AKA.”- nineteen69

“It all started with my mom. She’s been financial and active since she became a member. Her love for AKA was something I sought to know about. I wanted to know what about AKA made her work so hard and love so deeply? She instilled that love and work ethic in me and the rest was history. AKA is the only way.” – miss_nwagbara

“I saw the work of AKA all the time starting from childhood. I was with my mom when they served single moms at our community center, people without homes at shop kitchens, and underserved children at local schools. I grew to recognize the work of AKA as a teen/young adult. Seeing my mother and bonus aunties, now my Sorors, consistently serving the community and suporting one another as friends made me want to become a woman of substance, a woman of pride. I struggled in school and thought I wouldn’t have to chance to be an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman like the women that I saw growing up. I almost gave up. Fortunately I returned to college with intent. I almost missed the informational. Only God could have turned me toward a bulletin board in the corner of our student center right before spring break. Had I not gone by that board I’d have missed my chance as an undergrad. I came into AKA ready to work because I saw the example of an Active AKA in my mother and her chapter. My auntie wrote in her welcome letter “Inactivity is NOT an option” and I refuse to disrespect my letters in that way. I couldn’t see myself as anything else. I was literally shown the ONLY way by the Alpha women that came before me.” – lenore312

“I know it sounds cliche but Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. attracted me at a very young age. I think I may have been about 7 or 8 when I first took notice to it. So many wonderful role models of mine were all Alpha women; I remember saying to myself “I want to be like them when I grew up.” It was something about the class that an Alpha Woman exuded and how they had such a great and positive impact in our community! I remember researching all of the great contributions that AKA had made; and realizing how great the sisterhood was. Being that AKA is the first African American Sorority was a plus! I tried in 2008 and didn’t have enough credits but I didn’t give up. Many years later, after life threw me a few curve balls lol; I was able to become a member of the D’IVY’NE Delta Sigma Chapter at Stillman College in 2015. I was able to serve as president as well. I never kept my eyes off the prize; and that’s those 20 pearls just in case you didn’t know lol.” – lyn.pmek_

“I haven’t met an Alpha woman who didn’t hold herself to a higher standard. Alpha Kappa Alpha women are inviting, kind and gorgeous both inside and out. Becoming a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha is becoming selfless and wanting something more for both yourself and others. I knew that I wanted to be a part of something so much larger with other women who continue to build you up as an individual each and every day. Women of AKA embody every aspect of what I believe a woman should be and have always held themselves to the highest of standards” – therealdani___

“I remember i was in middle and my sister had just started college. She came home and I’m not sure what i was doing but she made the comment precious you act just like an AKA. Having no idea what she was talking about and now knowing how shallow of a comment that was I was intrigued to find out who these groups of women were. As I start to learned more i realized they were all around me. teachers, church members, all women we I already respected and looked up to happen to be Alpha women. Now as you learn about one sorority you start to hear about the others. But by then my heart was full. I was so impressed by all these women’s stature and resumes of what they accomplished from that day i strived to one day be one of those women both by action and by membership” – pretty_flawless1908

“One of my middle school teachers was an AKA and also happened to be the sister of a guy I ended up dating in high school. I always thought she had so much poise and dignity. As I got to know her more through my bf in high school, I knew then that if all AKAs were like her then that’s what I wanted to be. I stuck with that until I had the chance and the rest is history! ????” – teyahgetslife

“I was drawn to AKA because of my prophytes. I noticed as a freshman in college that the members of @aka_deltaphiwere leaders in other organizations on campus. And the chapter hosted great events (not just parties). The members seemed well rounded and were friendly. One of my prophytes who is now an inventor was a Senior and pre-med major like myself. She was smart, friendly, fly always helpful. When I started to do my research on the D9 sororities I loved everything I was learning about AKA. Alpha Kappa Alpha’s history is bigger than Greek life. We are a significant part of BLACK history! The more I learned the more I felt I belonged in this Sorority. I’ve been contributing to my community most of my life just because I enjoy it. Talk about speaking to your heart ??!! Alpha Kappa Alpha still speaks to my heart. Almost 16 years in the bond and if I had to choose again I’d ALWAYS choose my AKA!!!” – mscrys718

“When I first thought of pledging. I always knew that I wanted to be part of a sorority that would define who I was as a person, and what embraces the true meaning of sisterhood, scholarship and service. Our founders stood for many things. More importantly they stood for courage, rights, and equality and many others. Why pledge anything else when the first prestigious and most gracious sorority have paved the way for many others. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Has taught me a lot over the years and it continues to teach me until this day. The day I finally got my pearls was the day that I knew I was being reborn to be a better person, woman, sister, and lady of sophistication and confidence.” –lyrikal_ivy

“I knew AKA was going to challenge me to level up and step out of my comfort zone. The stereotypes and characteristics people put upon them were things i didn’t quite fit into. But I knew I would have to represent AKA and not let it represent me. AKA challenges me to become the best version of myself and serve a bigger purpose.” – tayelectronica

“I was never a shy person but I never really had confidence or was self assured. When I got to college I saw this group of confident, graceful and self assured women who were truly passionate about service and I knew that possessed all the characteristics of the type of woman I wanted to be. I am an only child so if I was going to gain sisters they had to be women of immense substance. And that is an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman.” – ohsoartikulate

“Their service and their reputation on my campus. They were present and accounted for. They were having meaningful and worthwhile programs. I felt welcomed when I participated in their events, and that made me want to be around them more. They really stood out to me. No one in my immediate family is Greek, but I developed relationships with those ladies, and I felt like I was a part of the family. They had a sense of pride about the organization, and to each of them, Alpha Kappa Alpha meant something different. No Alpha Kappa Alpha is not the sorority for everyone woman, but it was definitely the sorority for me.” – iviesandpearls_

“I grew up in a church where Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority women were the most active,popular and admired in the community. Strong names and powerful. Their influence was everything when I went to college. ..AKA was the ONLY WAY for me!!” – bev82aka

“Every AKA I knew was powerful, classy and strong willed. I knew that I wanted to be a woman that shared those characteristics. I had a heart for service and on campus, they were most active. AKA has changed me and shaped me for the better. I feel bold in a crowd. I’m fearless. I speak with confidence now and I’ve found my passion in leadership. I’ve loved watching myself grow as a woman but I couldn’t have done it without the support of many other strong women cheering me on that I can now call sisters.” – iamchelseyy

“During high school I was mentored and supported by women I would later find out were members of this organization. When I got on my college campus, I was drawn to the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha due to their humility and inspirational pursuits. I loved the way they carried themselves and how they interacted with one another at events I attended. I stayed in prayer as the relationships I formed with some of them peaked my interest more and more to pursue, and felt confirmed that (if given the privilege to join) God would use me as a member of this organization to pour into other young women’s lives, and bring change to my community through my gifts and passions in alignment with the organizations purpose and focuses. While additionally bringing enrichment and unique love to my life through the bonds of sisterhood.” – tiyahjavee

“Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is the epitome of femininity and sisterhood. What attracted me to AKA was seeing that we did not have to lose our beauty and our grace to be noticed. AKA does what he does, but with heels on. Femininity is divine!” – nellybellybella

“The women in my family have been part of the sisterhood from the 1940’s. They are strong, intelligent, and beautiful. Also some of the women who influenced and guided me during college while I was active in sports were AKA’s. With a strong sense of self and helping guide young women; as well as working with the community. And their academic standards keep me striving not to just be mediocre in school but outstanding.” – mshall1015

“I can’t remember a time where I didn’t want to be the best. I was never okay with being average. I’m always going hard in the classroom. I’m always going hard on he basketball court. I’m always going hard for my community. That’s why I couldn’t settle for anything less than the best because Alpha women are ALWAYS STRIVING to be the BEST. My values have always aligned with Alpha Kappa Alpha.” – a_hooper20

“While attending a predominantly white college in Boston during the 70’s, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. allowed me the opportunity to celebrate my unique hue…give back to a community ridden with racism, all while stepping proudly for the first, and forever the best…AKA” – ivypink1908

“Growing up, I had no clue of sororities. One of my mother’s dreams for me was to have a debutante experience. I realized that experience when a classmate invited me to become a debutante for Alpha Kappa Alpha. The women made such as impression on me as a young woman. When I stepped in the campus of Virginia State University, seeing those intelligent, poised, and beautiful sealed the deal for me. I know I wanted to be a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to pledge as an undergrad. I transferred to Bowie State University and for whatever reason, there wasn’t a line the time I was there. But I always held that dream to become an AKA. Fast forward many, many years later — many, many years later, my dream has been fully realized!! I am a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.” – the_glowgoddess

“I had seen the work my cousins and family friends did for AKA before I started college. And, then I knew AKA was the one for me. In Spring 2017, I was granted the opportunity to the join the sisterhood and I took it. Three months later, my mother passed away. Two weeks after the funeral, my dad told me how my mother prayed for me to be an AKA just as much as I did. He told me that she said, ” This could be good for Alicia to have all of this support and surround herself with individuals like her.” It made me proud to hear that. This was the last major event in my life my mom got to see and her words were correct. My sisters and I are all leaders on campus(BSU, Sisterhood, SGA, NPHC exec board, NAACP, acapella groups, newspapers, in the chapter, and more!) AKA will always be a part of my life and in my heart because of the love and support from my line sisters and sorors. I honestly could not see myself in any other organization” – aliciareynolds2018

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