Launching New Dimensions of Service 2014- 2018

Target I: Educational Enrichment
Members will engage in the sorority’s signature youth enrichment program, ASCEND℠ with efforts designed to motivate, engage and assist high school students in reaching their maximum potential. ASCEND℠ will focus on Achievement, Self-Awareness, Communication, Engagement, Networking and Developmental Skills. Students in the ASCEND℠ Program will have an opportunity to receive academic enrichment and life skills training to support their journey to college or vocational employment.

The sorority will promote the learning process by providing substantial support to students through AKA One Million Packpacks℠ Members will donate and distribute one million backpacks and related school supplies to students over the four year period.

Support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) will be a priority as Alpha Kappa Alpha launches a national campaign, Think HBCU℠ to highlight HBCUs and their contribution to the sorority and society. Through education, engagement and advocacy, HBCUs will be showcased as critical venue for moving students to and through college.

Target II: Health Promotion
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated ® will promote health awareness in three areas: Alzheimer's Disease, Stroke and Mental Illness. The Alzheimer's Disease and Caregiver Support Program will generate awareness and support for Alzheimer's programming and research. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the fastest growing health challenges among African Americans. Stroke and Heart Disease Awareness will remain a focus area as Alpha Kappa Alpha launches a major stroke prevention awareness campaign with emphasis on hypertension management, diet and exercise. Mental Health will be highlighted as members bring attention to the mental illness among diverse populations with low utilization of mental health services.

Target III: Family Strengthening
Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Family Strengthening Programs will target critical issues facing many families, including lack of food, shelter and financial means. Community based Childhood Hunger Initiatives will be launched in partnership with local agencies, food banks and community pantries. The Family Seasonal Wraps℠ Program will be offered as the sorority sponsors a major initiative to collect and donate hats, gloves, socks, scarves, coats, sweaters and other seasonal wraps for families in need. Additionally, Fiscal Responsibility Programs will be initiated as members work with partner organizations and families to help increase their understanding of budgeting, basic financial planning and benefits of home ownership.

Target IV: Environmental Ownership
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated ® will implement high impact programs to provide healthy environments and improve the quality of life in the underserved communities. The AKA 1908 Playground Project℠ will be launched to ensure children have safe and inviting places to play. Sorority members will restore and renew 1,908 existing community and school playgrounds with its Restore, Refresh and Renew Project℠. Through its Acts of Green Program℠ members will promote environmental sustainability by encouraging recycling, litter prevention and waste management through daily green efforts in local communities.

Target V: Global Impact
Sorority members will implement the UNA-USA Global Classrooms Project to prepare today's youth for an increasingly global and complex society. Alpha Kappa Alpha members will work in partnership with the UNA-USA (United Nations Association) to expand understanding of the UN, its mission and focus. A biennial Intergenerational Model U.N. Conference will be convened.

Through its renewed Africare partnership, Alpha Kappa Alpha Chapters will implement youth hunger initiatives on the continent of Africa.

Community Impact Days
Alpha Kappa Alpha members will implement International Community Service Days annually to highlight the organization’s collective impact in program target areas:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (January)

Pink Goes Red for Heart Health Day (February)

1908 Playgrounds Mobilization Day (May)

The Longest Day™ Alzheimer’s Support Activities (June)

Mental Health Awareness Day (July)

Childhood Hunger Awareness Day (October)

Upsilon Omega Chapter embraces the International Program of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated ® and establishes committees that implement the program initiatives throughout our local community. (For additional information on the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Program, go to

Signature Chapter Programs

For many years, in addition to the International Program Initiatives, Upsilon Omega Chapter has maintained several programs/projects that take place annually.

Future Young Leaders Program ~ The Future Young Leaders (FYL) is a signature program of Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® for middle school girls in Richmond City and surrounding counties. The program develops the talents and skills of participating girls with the potential of helping them become leaders with their schools, local communities and other venues. They engage in activities that impact their lives by providing opportunities for leadership development, civic engagement, enhanced academic preparation and character building. The ultimate goal is to offer the girls life-long skills to enable them to become contributing citizens to society.

The AKA Debutante Project ~ The AKA Debutante Project began in 1953 as the AKA Cinderella Project as a fundraiser to support the AKA Shoe Bank. The Project is open to high school junior and senior girls who are recommended and who commit to paying an established participation fee and to secure ads and patrons for a souvenir journal. Participants are also required to engage in a variety of activities and workshops, as well as a service project. The Project culminates with a Presentation and Formal Ball.

The AKA Shoe Bank ~ The AKA Shoe Bank was established in 1954 to serve students who were absent from school because of a lack of shoes to wear. Today, shoes are made available through Social Services and/or the School Administration to children in Richmond Public Schools and six Henrico County Schools.

Luncheon in Honor of Mothers ~ The Luncheon in Honor of Mothers began on May 9, 1992 as a celebration of African-American Heritage while honoring mothers and all of the women who have touched our lives. The event soon became a means to raise money for scholarships and, since 1992, has become an annual scholarship fundraising event to supplement fees that chapter members pay in annual dues for scholarship, and proceeds from other fundraising projects.

The Young Artists Showcase ~ In its effort to continue the promotion of the Arts, Upsilon Omega Chapter has continued its Young Artists’ Festival Showcase featuring talented school students from grades three through twelve. Participants representing the Performing and the Visual Arts are recommended based on their skill level. Performing Arts students are often required to submit to an audition prior to participation.

Upsilon Omega Chapter’s Scholarship Program ~ The program offers three traditional scholarships; a four-year continuing scholarship, a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Scholarship, and an Academic Excellence Scholarship. Graduating seniors who apply attend schools in the chapter’s established service area, which includes the Richmond Public Schools, and select schools in Henrico County.