In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the sorority sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.’s Alpha Beta Omega in New Orleans, LA and did an interview with Troave’ Profice the Basileus of the chapter.
The position of Basileus/president of a Black sorority chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Troave’ Profice, who works as a Chief Operations Officer of a Non-Profit, has been in the position of Basileus for two years.
We interviewed Troave’ Profice, who is a Fall 2003 – Eta Theta initiate of Alpha Kappa Alpha and talked to her about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What motivated you to take on the role of alumni chapter president?
I’ve always aspired to be a leader and served in various capacities throughout my sorority and within my chapter. After years of service and learning, I truly felt equipped and prepared to tackle the role of Chapter President.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the local community or the broader Black community?
We’re advancing the national initiatives of AKA. I’m most proud of the work we’re doing around the AKA Childhood Hunger Initiative Power Pack (CHIPP). We’ve partnered with a local PK-8 School in New Orleans East and we consistently provide 100+ FREE bags of healthy and non-perishable food items for students in need so they can have consistent meals throughout the weekend and during extended school breaks. My chapter also recently raised $56,000 to support community programs throughout New Orleans and scholarships at Loyola University New Orleans, Dillard University, Xavier University Louisiana, and Southern University at New Orleans.
What made you want to pledge Alpha Kappa Alpha?
I have several members of my family that are members of various D9 organizations, but Alpha Kappa Alpha always tugged at my heart. On my PWI campus, the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha were unique, confident, student leaders. They were the epitome of class but also knew how to have fun. I saw them and it confirmed that I knew exactly where I belonged.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
My current graduate chapter is the oldest AKA grad chapter in the South Central Region. We are actually older than our region. We supervise four (4) undergraduate chapters and actually chartered every undergraduate chapter (6 in total) in New Orleans.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
We supervise 4 undergraduate chapters and we have a strong commitment to our undergraduate members. In addition to pairing them with graduate mentors, I’ve made a point to meet with my undergraduate presidents quarterly — just for fun. We talk about life and whatever is going on at the time. We build true relationships and sisterly bonds. During my administration, my chapter launched a Signing Day activity where we celebrate our graduating seniors and them committing to a graduate chapter in the city they’re relocating to after graduation. We have a dj, food, strolling, pom-poms, the whole 08 yards. My chapter also allows our undergraduate members to transfer into our chapter immediately after their graduation without having to pay any dues/financial chapter obligations.
How do you approach fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie among alumni members, and what strategies have you found effective?
Leading such a large chapter can be challenging. I try to meet with small groups of my chapter members throughout the year. I follow them on social media and support their various efforts. That can look like showing up to their non-sorority events/activities or sending them a simple “thinking of you text.” It’s my goal to make every member in my chapter to truly feel that they are valued and wanted.
What advice would you give to aspiring leaders within your sorority who may aspire to take on roles of leadership within alumni chapters?
In order to be a good leader, you have to learn how to be a good follower. Join committees, embrace volunteer opportunities. Those are great opportunities to learn the inner-workings and add to your leadership toolbox. When you serve, people will notice. Your service will open doors to leadership opportunities. Don’t let your age stop you. I’ve achieved so much before the age of 40 mainly because of my willingness to lead and learn through the opportunities and activities offered by my sorority.
How has mentorship helped you get to where you are today? Are there any specific people in your org who have made a significant impact on your life as mentors?
In 2004 I was selected to be an AKA Leadership Fellow and had the opportunity to learn from my sorority’s top leaders. The late Linda Marie White, former International President, taught me so much. She taught me that a leader must hold fast to her dignity and lead with poise. She taught me how to never let them see you sweat. She taught me how a strong leader can still have a soft heart. She taught me that service is key. My former regional director, Katina Semien Smothers, gave me the opportunity to serve on the regional level and she taught me how to be unapologetic and be confident in my skills and my abilities.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
It’s important to continue to display our D9 organizations in a space that is uplifting, positive, and promotes unity.
Looking back at it, why do you love being a member of your org?
My sorority has cultivated and improved my leadership skills and introduced me to an INTERNATIONAL sisterhood. There’s not a place on the globe that I can go that an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman has not been or has not impacted.
Lastly, what does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood is a verb. It is the action of being available, serving others, loving their differences, embracing everyone’s flaws. It’s a gumbo seasoned with love and sacrifice. The more you give, the more it gives to you.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Troave’ Profice for her work as the Basileus of the Alpha Beta Omega which has a legacy that spans back to 1927.
Share this on Facebook and help us highlight Profice’s chapter.
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