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Student represents JCSU in Alpha Kappa Alpha’s national leadership program

Photo of Mary Holiman '19

May 17, 2018--Mary Holiman ‘19 was selected to be one of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.’s Spring 2018 Leadership fellows. She’s the first AKA from the region to participate in the competitive annual program, which since 1979 has chosen 30 young women nationwide in which to invest resources, education and mentorship to prepare them to be leaders.

Holiman is vice president of JCSU’s National Council of Negro Women chapter; president of the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society; a peer mentor and tutor in Student Support Services; a member of the Golden Bulls Activities Committee; a member of the JCSU choir; and a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. She was ecstatic about the opportunity.

“As the first Charlotte-area AKA to be a fellow, I just want to make my sisters and mentors proud,” she said. “The point of Alpha Kappa Alpha is to be of service to all mankind, and I know this training will help me toward that goal.”

The Leadership Fellows Program was designed to provide training and development, student internships, and job placement assistance. This year, fellows benefitted from a weeklong conference held May 15-19, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois, where they engaged in meaningful workshops in order to advance their personal, professional, and sorority goals. Seminars, a career fair and networking meetings with graduate schools filled the learning requirements, while community volunteering and a cultural project gave them valuable experience as servant leaders. As a new dimension to this program, participants are receiving year-long coaching from mentors who are top professionals in their fields.

Holiman, who grew up in Hardeeville, S.C., a small town with a high crime rate, says the leaders of her community kept her on the right path.

“My family, preachers and teachers all really embodied the mentality that it takes a village to raise a child,” Holiman said. “I knew if someone saw me doing anything unbecoming, they would correct the behavior.”

She had special praise for a high school chorus teacher who happened to be a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

“Dr. Prescott-Hodges Wright helped me find my voice, not only in chorus, but also outside of the classroom,” Holiman said. “She helped me to focus on living my best life as an individual.”

Holiman, who graduates next year, is ready to take on new horizons. “I can’t wait. Being a voice for others and helping them can change the world.”

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