Keyana Prince has been a member of the Phi Omega Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority since 2018. This organization does a lot for the Clarendon County community. Prince sat down for an Editor’s Office Interview to talk about some of these projects, namely a Pink Ice Ball that is coming up in 2 weeks, as well as the organization itself.
Editor, Jake McElveen: So, What is your involvement in the Manning Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha?
Keyana Prince: Well, I was initiated into the Manning Chapter in June of 2018, coming up on my two year anniversary. My school teacher is also affiliated with the chapter, and I just got a position where I reach out on social media to let the community know what we do and what we stand for.
E: Okay, well in your own words, what do you stand for?
K: We stand for sisterhood, and community service. That’s why we have the slogan: “Service to all mankind.” We just want to uplift the community.
E: Now I’m looking at your members, and I see JoAnne Coaxum, is that Ms. Coaxum from East Clarendon?
K: Yes it is!
E: Oh man, I love that woman. She makes the best candied apples.
K: It’s a small world. She was my bus driver, my teacher, and my cheerleader coach. She had a lot to do with me joining the chapter. I always saw her wearing pink and green and so I kept wondering “what is that pink and green?” She was one of the first women I knew in the organization as well as several aunts. So a big part of me being where I am is the women that I idolized. Them being the women they are in this organization made it so intriguing to me, It was always a goal of mine.
E: I love that. Sorry I keep backtracking but Ms. Coaxum actually played my mother in my high schools version of Romeo and Juliet. I played Romeo in 9th grade I think, and every time she saw me in the hall she would give me a hug and call me her son. She is the best.
K: She had to stay in character.
E: So, It is the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and I am just curious as to why its the Phi Omega Omega Chapter. I really don’t understand where the naming process comes in.
K: When you start a new chapter, you are given a new Greek Name. We have over 1,020 chapters. These are both graduate and undergraduate chapters for those in and out of college.
E: What are some direct ways that we can see some of the work that the Phi Omega Omega chapter is doing in Manning.
K: Okay, well specifically in Manning, we give out a $1,000 scholarship to each High School in the County: East Clarendon, Scott’s Branch, and Manning High. Students write letters, and we evaluate them and vote. We are very heavily affiliated with the Turbeville Children’s Home. We just went out there and had our Thanksgiving Dinner, and we also host several food drives.
E: So I am curious as to how people join the chapter.
K: It is invitation only, and you have to communicate your interests in joining to a member. Ms. Coaxum, as I mentioned, was one of those women that I stuck to. I told her I was interested and she was aware, and when the time came around she reached out to me and asked if I wanted to be involved. They sent me a letter with requirements, things like your 4-year degree with a 3.0 average. There are more requirements and they are all on the website.
E: Awesome! Tell me a little bit more about this Pink Ice Ball that you are hosting.
K: The Pink Ice Ball is on Jan 25 at the Matrix Center in Manning. We host different events to raise funds for our scholarships, as well as our community service projects. We use the money to revamp playgrounds, make dresses that we send to Africa, our shoe drive, and many more things.
E: Is it a ticketed event?
K: Yes, the tickets are $40, and we also are seeking sponsorships from local businesses or people who aren’t able to attend. You can contact any current member (listed below) for tickets.
E: How would you say Alpha Kappa Alpha and Phi Omega Omega have affected you as a person?
K: I feel like it keeps me up-to-date about many things going on in our community. It makes me want to be a better person. I feel like I am constantly sacrificing and I love it. I recently moved to Greenville, but I still come back to this chapter. There are larger chapters in Greenville that I could transfer to, but I am comfortable where I am with my small chapter, in my community, where I am from.
E: Well that wraps up all the questions I have, is there anything else you want to add?
K: I would add that we stand for a lot. A lot of people don’t know about us, so if you see a young lady walking around, speak to them and ask about those colors. And we will continue to uplift and uphold the standards of our sorority.