By Sister Tarpley, NDG Religion Editor
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a public service organization founded in 1913 on the campus of Howard University to promote:
Academic excellence; support the underserved; educate and stimulate participation in the establishment of positive public policy; and to highlight issues and provide solutions for problems in communities nation–wide.
Today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has more than 250,000 members and more than 1,000 chapters worldwide.
The North Dallas Suburban Alumnae chapter, chartered in 1996, continues the sorority’s tradition of sisterhood and service by implementing programs in response to identified local community concerns.
They offer free Saturday workshops for area youth that are fun-filled educational opportunities.
Youngsters initially walk into Willie B. Johnson Recreation Center in Hamilton Park Community at the prodding of parents who have enrolled them in one of five youth programs hosted by the North Dallas Suburban Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
And, they return because the Saturday programs, Delta Academy, Delta GEMS, EMBODI, Project SEE and R.A.F.T. are packed with educational activities wrapped in high energy fun. Each program has a distinct focus and the curriculums are appropriate for participants aged 5 to 18, said Chapter President Pamela Pujo.
“And, because Delta Sigma Theta is a public service organization, all the workshops include a component that teaches the value of giving back to the community. We have been hosting these youth workshops for over twenty years and Sorority members value the opportunity to teach the children much-needed life skills,” Pujo added.
“North Dallas Suburban Alumnae’s youth programs are always free to participants and while some have limited space, all are encouraged to apply,” she said.
Delta Academy is geared toward pre-teen and teen girls and focuses on building self-esteem.
Girls are introduced to concepts of leadership, exposed to the arts and other cultural activities within the Metroplex and often meet community leaders who impart knowledge and wisdom to encourage personal growth.
Delta GEMS, (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) focuses on academic excellence and girls aged 14-18 are introduced to goal setting along with life-skill techniques that will sustain them as they complete their educations and move on to successful careers. The goal of the program is to teach young ladies to pursue their dreams regardless of their current circumstances or surroundings.
EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence) is for boys aged 13-18.
The program teaches leadership through modeled behavior and while Sorority members teach all the workshops, they often invite male community leaders to share insights and life skills with the boys enrolled in EMBODI.
Project SEE (Science and Everyday Experiences) is for boys and girls in 6th, 7th, or 8th grades and focuses on science.
The program is taught on a college campus and helps expose students to “fun” concepts in chemistry, engineering and mathematics with laboratory experiments. Team challenges and peer interactions that connect learning to everyday life are taught. Participants are selected on the merits of their written application.
R.A.F.T. (Rise and Fly Together) is for boys and girls aged 5 to 10. The children are exposed to a host of activities that include physical fitness, social skills such as conflict resolution, and academics.
For more information and to download applications for all of the programs as well as other community-based programs that are offered by North Dallas Suburban Alumnae chapter, go to: www.dstndsa.org/programs/.
Editor’s note: The photo was previously misidentified as Delta Sigma Theta North Dallas Suburban Alumnae Chapter President Pamela Pujo.