2018 ASCEND Graduation held

West Monroe, LA, May 4, 2018 –Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Omicron Iota Omega Chapter hosted its 2018 ASCEND Graduation and SMART EXPO on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Ouachita Parish Library.

Master of Ceremony, Evan Johnson, called the program to order, reflecting on the honor and importance of the celebration. Chapter President Raven Owens, offered the welcome, followed by DeWorange Brown, ASCEND Scholar, who delivered the meditation. ASCEND Scholars, Justin McKinley and Dustee Matthews, highlighted the occasion. Parents and friends were then introduced to the SMART Expo by Co-Chairman, Patricia Turner, during which each ASCEND scholar presented a detailed PowerPoint on their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) career of choice. They were followed by guest speakers, Zack Williams and James Ratcliff, who provided insight into their STEM career fields, as well as words of encouragement and wisdom.

Chairman, Laura Spencer, concluded the program with the recognition of the 2018 ASCEND Scholars: Marla Anderson, Jamier Ashley, Isabella Bolayon, DeWorange Brown, Xavier Chretien, Christopher Clay, Michael Harris III, Kennedy Henderson, Braxton Jackson, Mikayla Jackson, Zoe Jackson, Kaitlyn Kyles, Dustee Matthews, Justin McKinley, and Ajiah Shaw. Each graduate was awarded a diploma and financial gift. Special recognition was given the EXPO Award Winners for 2018: Zoe Jackson, who took home 1st Place; Ajiah Shaw – 2nd Place; and Marla Anderson – 3rd Place. Of special note, Senior Marla Anderson is ranked among the Top 20 in her graduating class and has been awarded a full scholarship to the University of Chicago, the 3rd ranking school in the U. S. with Yale. Avius Carroll, the chapter’s 1st Vice President, offered closing remarks. And Chaplain, Kimberly Davis, provided the closing prayer. Guests were then treated to a delightful array of fruits, sandwiches, and other refreshments, as well as a beautifully decorated cake.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was founded in 1908 on the historic campus of Howard University and is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-educated women. ASCEND? focuses on Achievement, Self-Awareness, Communication, Engagement, Networking and Developmental Skills, and represents part of a global Educational Enrichment effort. It is the first of five target areas identified as part of the Sorority’s 2014-2018 International Program: “Launching New Dimensions of Service,” utilizing its 300,000 members and over 1,000 chapters world-wide to impact local communities in a positive way. To learn more, visit www.aka1908.com.