In an effort to highlight the young leaders who are leading undergraduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.’s Eta Chapter at Bowie State University and did an interview with Taylor Hailstock a recent president of the chapter.
The position of president of an undergraduate chapter of a Black sorority is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. 21-year-old Taylor Hailstock has used the position to gain new leadership experience, improve the lives of other students on campus and help the community around her.
We interviewed the Biology major and talked about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold a leadership position on campus in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
As a former chapter president, I’ve learned that the position is much more than being recognized as “the one in charge.” More importantly, it is about supporting each member of your chapter and being dedicated to propelling the chapter into the communities we are meant to serve.
What made you decide to attend Bowie State University for undergrad?
My decision to attend Bowie State was an unconventional one. I simply could not burden my family with the costs to attend the “high end” colleges I was accepted into. Once I stepped foot on this beautiful campus, the close knit community feel and supportive staff assured me that this institution was in fact a hidden gem.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
Under the scope of our international initiative, we will be Exemplifying Excellence through Sustainable Service. In doing so, we plan to produce programming that targets students needs on our campus as well as educates them on topics such as health awareness and the arts. Additionally, we will be incorporating many opportunities to serve our communities in any capacity possible.
What made you want to pledge Alpha Kappa Alpha?
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is rooted in efforts of service, a foundation that aligns perfectly with my own personal ideals. Above any organization, it was the dedication to enhancing the advancement of colored women, maintaining high ethical standards, and impeccable presence in our communities that called me to pledge AKA.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The Exquisite Eta Chapter is unparalleled in our dedication to service in our immediate communities. Moreoevr, it is the support system that I have gained within the chapter that is mostly impactful in my life.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think undergraduate chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2018?
I’m this digital age, I believe all undergraduate chapters should take advantage of the great influence of social media. It is important that we represent our organizations as well as our chapters positively (by posting service, initiatives, programming etc.) in order to have a greater impact on the public.
What does leadership mean to you?
To me, leadership means taking initiative by action and example. In order to lead others you must be receptive to criticism, open to guidance, and cognizant of the the fact that you are only as impactful as your team.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch the Yard is important in shining light on the many great things happening in Black greekdom. By highlighting these positive instances, it allows our orgs to be portrayed in such great ways.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood to me is exemplifying the roles of a confidant, supporter, and dear friend to the women closest to you. Being there to lift her up, an open ear, and even a shoulder to cry on. None of my sisters are not biological in relation, but are more valuable to me than anything I have ever gained.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
Upon graduation in May, I plan to partake in a postbaccalaureate program concentrating on cancer research in attempt to pursue my M.D./Ph.D in medicine.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Taylor Hailstock for her work as the president of Eta Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1969.