Catching the Dreams of Tomorrow, Preparing Young Women For the 21st Century: The Delta Academy was created out of an urgent sense that bold action was needed to save our young females (ages 11-14) from the perils of academic failure, low self-esteem, and crippled futures. Delta Academy provides an opportunity for local chapters to enrich and enhance the education that our young teens receive in public schools across the nation. Specifically, we augment their scholarship in math, science, and technology, their opportunities to provide service in the form of leadership through service learning defined as the cultivation and maintenance of relationships. A primary goal of the program is to prepare young girls for full participation as leaders in the 21st Century.
Delta Academy has taken many forms. In some chapters, the Academies are after-school or Saturday programs; others are weekly or biweekly throughout the school year; and still other programs occur monthly. At a minimum, chapters plan and implement varied activities based upon the needs of the early adolescents in their areas. The activities implemented most often include computer training, self-esteem and etiquette workshops, field trips for science experiences and for college exposure, and special outings to cultural events, fancy dinners, museums, plays, and concerts.
A natural outgrowth and expansion for the continuation of the highly successful Dr. Betty Shabaaz Delta Academy: Catching the Dreams of Tomorrow, Delta Gems was created to catch the dreams of African American at-risk, adolescent girls aged 14-18. Delta GEMS provides the frame work to actualize those dreams through the performance of specific tasks that develop a CAN DO attitude. The goals for Delta GEMS are:
● To instill the need to excel academically
● To provide tools that enable girls to sharpen and enhance their skills to achieve high levels of academic success;
● To assist girls in proper goal setting and planning for their futures high school and beyond; and
● To create compassionate, caring, and community minded young women by actively involving them in service learning and community service opportunities.
The Delta GEMS program offers a road map for college and career planning conducts activities that provide opportunities for self-reflection and individual growth. Delta GEMS, like Delta Academy, is implemented by chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
The EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence) program is designed to refocus the efforts of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., with the support and action of other major organizations, on the plight of African-American males. Both informal and empirical data suggests that the vast majority of African-American males continues to be in crisis and is not reaching its fullest potential educationally, socially and emotionally. EMBODI is designed to address these issues through dialogue and recommendations for change and action. EMBODI addresses issues related to STEM education, culture, self-efficacy, leadership, physical and mental health, healthy lifestyles choices, character, ethics, relationships, college readiness, fiscal management, civic engagement and service learning.
The Chesterfield Alumnae Chapter’s Debutante Program was started in 1999 as a fundraising activity. Now in its’ 15th year, the program has grown into one of two signature fundraising activities and a renowned mentoring and leadership development program in the Metro-Richmond area. Young ladies that are seniors in high school with a minimum 2.5 GPA and involved in community service are eligible to apply. The program begins in September of each year, and includes eight months of cultural, social, scholastic and community service activities that will enhance participant’s scholastic achievement, civic responsibility and social awareness. The program activities culminate with the young ladies formal presentation to society during the Debutante Ball usually held in the spring. Funds raised during the Debutante Program are used to provide scholarship dollars to the Debutantes as well as academic and financial aid scholarships to deserving area students, and to fund the chapter’s public service programs.
Chesterfield Alumnae awards scholarships to students that have exemplified academic excellence, extraordinary involvement in extracurricular activities and community service. Scholarships offered by the Sorority include the Minerva Award for Academic Excellence, a Financial Aid Award and a Community Service Award. More detailed information regarding these opportunities can be found at Scholarship Applications. In addition, application packets are provided to all Chesterfield County High Schools in the month of January of each year.