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During the Spring of 2002, several sorors in Tallahassee, Florida formed a new interest group of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  This group consisted of sorors who embraced the Alpha Kappa Alpha vision of reclamation.  These sorors built a foundation on outreach to other sorors to reactivate, to rejuvenate, and to become a part of this effort.  This foundation consisted of building blocks of support from the local surrounding chapters in Gadsden, Leon, and Madison Counties while cementing our journey towards chapter status with guidance from sisters in East Lansing, Michigan.  A central group solidified to become the Ivy Connection Interest Group and thereafter, submitted a proposal to the South Atlantic Regional Director, Mrs. Irene W. McCollom to form an additional chapter in Tallahassee.

Upon approval of the proposal from the Regional Director, this group of sorors focused their rejuvenation efforts toward the primary purpose of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® is to provide service to the surrounding community.  They targeted service projects in the untapped areas of Leon and Jefferson counties.  In Leon County, the Ivy Connection Interest Group adopted Leonard Wesson Elementary School.  Just within that school community, the Ivy Connection Interest Group found numerous needs that connect directly to the programs Alpha Kappa Alpha.  Thanksgiving and Christmas presented opportunities to fulfill wishes of adopted Black families.  The new school year provided the opportunity to start the academic year off right with needed school supplies as the Ivy Connection Interest Group tackled educational support in the community.  A Black History Essay Contest was sponsored and gift cards issued to the winners in each category as we celebrated the students' efforts to communicate “What Black History Month Means to You”.  Sorors provided supplies for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) to support the testing environment to encourage our children.  At the end of the year, the Ivy Connection Interest Group joined the year-end community celebration by assisting with the tradition of graduation for the 5th grade class!

Also within Leon County, the Ivy Connection Interest Group began a partnering process with the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO).  At the beginning of the school year for 2004, sorors partnered with each other to adopt community children from ECHO's Bethany Family Apartments.  This arm of ECHO offers short-term housing and long-term hope for families in crisis. 

The intention was to help families achieve stability so they could move into long-term housing. A holiday party was held in addition to the purchase of backpacks and school clothes, as well as the organization of a coat drive and the purchase of school clothes, which were then then handed to all of the children who dwell at Bethany Family Apartments.

The Brynwood Nursing Home in Jefferson County was adopted, and visits and activities have been held there for the benefit of the residents. Working with a mentoring group of local young women, today referred to as the Ivy Vines, The Ivy Connection Interest Group started its mentorship program. The group has been included in the service project at Brynwood Nursing Home, where they assist with bingo, distribute prizes, interacting, offer encouragement, read scripture, sing, and dance.

The needs of the neighboring areas of Jefferson and Leon counties were central to the history of the Ivy Connection Interest Group. Preserving social relevance was the main priority.

At its November 2004 meeting, the 2004-2006 Directorate of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated approved The Ivy Connection Interest Group’s petition for chapter status.  On December 18, 2004, the Chi Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated was chartered by Soror Irene W. McCollum, South Atlantic Regional Director. Chartering members include Sorors Cecropia Ballard, Pamela Barnes, Nora Carroll-Wells, Carmen Coleman, D’Andrea Cotton, Loretta Darity, Ruth Dillard, Linette Dudley, A. Mireille Fall, Stephany Fall, Daphne Germain, Phlecia Gillespie, Myra Hart, Marilyn Henderson Hudson, Tanise Jackson, Gloria James, Barbara Kemp, O. Sylvia Lamar, Jatisha Marsh, Debra D. Paul, Ronada Rushing, Talicia Scrivens, Beverly Sloan, Pamela Thomas, Margie Wade, Phyllis Watson, Dianne Williams-Cox and Hattie Mary Young (see image above).

In 2006, the chapter held it's inaugural signature events, Miss Calendar Girl and Pink AKAsion Scholarship Ball.  The Pink Hat Tea which began during the Ivy Connection Interest Group period has developed into a community event which is enjoyed by sorors, others (Greeks and non-Greeks) as well as the members of our mentoring groups, the Ivy Vines and Calendar Girls.  Other community involvement include The American Cancer Society’s Relay for life, membership in Tallahassee Chapter of Panhellenic Council, and a presence annually at the Martin Luther King Jr., Celebration in Jefferson (Monticello) County.

Commitment to service has been exhibited by the chapter as evidenced by the chapter’s effort to support locally and nationally individuals who suffered losses due to Hurricane Katrina.  The Tallahassee Urban League and Big Bend Cares were also recipients of support from the chapter.

Culturally, the chapter is a patron of the FAMU Essential Theatre and a benefactor of annual academic scholarships. Reclamation continues to be a focus of Chi Upsilon Omega as evidenced by its growth to almost 130 active members as of December 2024.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.®

Chi Upsilon Omega Chapter

P.O. Box 6418

Tallahassee, Florida 32314

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