On September 30, the Optimist Club of St. Andrews-Irmo heard a presentation from two members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity’s Columbia Chapter.
Kappa Alpha Psi is a service fraternity that begins with college-age men and then involves them in community service long after their graduation.
The purpose of the fraternity is to provide guidance, mentoring, and role models for young males from elementary age through high school. The aim is to prepare them for productive adulthood and citizenship.
Along that path, young people are paired with a mentor who shepherds and leads them through their school years in order for them to be ready for college, then job interviews, and ultimately launching their careers.
The local Columbia Chapter is very active at USC, Benedict College, Allen University, and Newberry College. There are now over 200 members in that Chapter, and the fraternity is enjoying membership growth. On a national scope, there is now a Chapter in every state.
The Columbia Chapter involves the young men in community outreach projects, which include:
1. Food baskets for needy families
2. Reading readiness programs for local school kids
3. An annual golf outing/fundraiser to build an ongoing scholarship fund
4. Senior Campers, where fraternity brothers meet with shut-ins for fellowship and to do yard work, household chores, and errands
5. Weekend food backpacks for school kids
At the end of the process is the Beautillion, a formal social event where the young men (Beaus) and the young ladies they escort (Belles) celebrate the process having been completed.
Pictured are Mike Myers; Jacob White, James Gibbs, and Gary Boyd. The two speakers each received a copy of the Optimist Creed.