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 sorors of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.’s Omicron Phi Chapter at Northern Arizona University and did an interview with DeArreona King the 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 King 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 Public Health major and talked about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold a leadership on campus in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
Being a chapter president means that you have to open your heart and mind up to more than just yourself. You are now responsible for something that is bigger than you and it is your job to protect and guide them in the right direction. This has taught me a lot about myself and my abilities in being a leader.
What made you decide to attend the Northern Arizona University for undergrad?
I decided to attend Northern Arizona University because I was looking for a happy medium when it came to me leaving home. I am from Phoenix, AZ so Flagstaff, for me, was the most convenient option when it came to traveling during the holidays and also being far enough to explore and grow as my own person.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
Our chapter is looking to work more closely with the clean up in the city of Flagstaff and provide more knowledge to our campus about Louie’s Cupboard. Louie’s Cupboard is a grocery style resource program on NAU’s campus that allows students in need of groceries to come once a week and gather a box of fresh fruits, vegetables, and a variety of canned goods and perishables. There are many students who are going hungry because they couldn’t afford a meal plan or they had to choose between electricity or groceries for the month. Not a lot of students are aware of this program and I believe it will change a lot of students mentalities, knowing that they have support and there are resources available for them to be successful even in the midst of their struggle can help decrease a lot of mental health factors.
What made you want to pledge Zeta Phi Beta?
During my Freshman year of college, I never felt as though I had a community that I could connect with. I always felt alone and even though I had friends and I was a member of the 2016-2017 NAU all girl cheer team, I never felt as though I had a home. Therefore after much contemplation and thought, I decided to return to the valley shortly after my spring semester of my Freshman year. After visiting my friends in Flagstaff, I realized the shift NAU was going through when it came to Fraternity and Sorority life. I knew once I made my decision to return to Flagstaff for my Junior year of college that I too wanted more knowledge when it came to joining a sorority.
The african-american community at NAU is extremely grateful for Ms.Denise TrimbleSmith for starting our annual Black Leadership Summit here on the mountain. During this event you are able to connect and network with undergraduate as well as graduate members of just about all of the Divine 9 organizations. I remember vividly during the different informational sessions, I still had that feeling of uncertainty. My cousin in Chicago explained to me that a sorority is a lifelong commitment. If you can not absolutely say that this is the one for you then you must keep looking, and it wasn’t until I stepped foot in the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated informational that I felt a change in myself. The young women facilitating were so warm and genuine with us. It didn’t seem rehearsed, it didn’t seem like a job for them, it was nothing but pleasing and very natural. As if they had known us for years and we were just catching up at this point.
After the informational sessions I remember meeting a young woman and wanting to be her friend. Felicite took the time to look for me after the greek showcase and ask me for my contact information. That always stood with me because I’ve never experienced someone care that much about a total stranger. Ever since that moment I continued to do my research and look more into the organization. I was raised primarily by a single mother in a low income household. Thankfully I was a healthy baby but I really gravitated toward Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated once I found out about Stork’s Nest which is a program created by a partnership with the March of Dimes and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. This partnership allows for the promotion of prenatal care participation and healthy behaviors during pregnancy through incentives and education. From that moment I realized that this was the organization for me. Not only was I able to find an organization that would allow me growth within my chosen career field, but I also found a home within every soror I’ve met so far.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The Outstanding Omicron Phi chapter is unique for many reasons. We are the last piece to the Arizona puzzle by being the first Divine 9 sorority to have an active chapter at all three Arizona state institutions.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think undergraduate chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2019?
My advice to those who are representing their organizations online is to think about your organization as a whole and not just your chapter as individuals. Your representation as a member should be with pride and dignity and nothing less. Look your best at all times and even when you feel like you can’t, you can.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me means having the ability to lead your group to victory and helping them grow along the way. To be a leader is to know how to make decisions for those who are awaiting guidance. It is being a support system for those in need and allowing for other people’s opinions and suggestions to help you in your growth.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch The Yard is important for Black greekdom because it keeps everyone connected in a way that allows our fellow greek community to acknowledge those who are doing great things across their campuses. It is also a great way to give our organizations more exposure and allows us to showcase all of our talents, community service, and helps on a wider scale to show how those chapters involve themselves in their community and on their campus.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood to me means having an unconditional bond with women whose company you genuinely enjoy. I’ve referred to a lot of people as my sisters over the years and I really never understood what it meant to call someone a sister until I joined Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Sisterhood is having a built in confidant, someone who can give you advice at anytime of the day, a shoulder to cry on and an extra hand to wipe the tears away, and much more.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation I plan to attend Pima Medical School where I will receive my certification as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. From around age 14 I realized how much I liked shows such as Teen Mom, One Born Every Minute, and Unexpected. I began to invest my time in the study of embryology and became a lot more fascinated in the study as I grew older. After I receive my certification in Diagnostic Medical Sonography from Pima Medical School, I plan to work towards a Bachelors in Social Work and possibly become an adoption agent.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend DeArreona King for her work as the president of Omicron Phi Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 2019.