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DeNeal: Youth symposium focuses on good choices

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Updated: May 12, 2014 3:42AM



The ladies of Alpha Sigma Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. hosted their 17th annual Youth Symposium, “Partners for Progress, Working Together to Build Bridges for Youth,” on March 8 at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy High School. They partnered with Sigma Gamma Rho’s East Chicago Chapter — Zeta Gamma Sigma.

The symposium was aimed at young girls and teens and included workshops about making healthy and smarter choices when it comes to food and lifestyles, dealing with peer pressure, drugs, teen pregnancy, college applications, STEM, financial aid and more.

There also was a Zumba class and a college fair with representatives from Indiana University Northwest, Indiana State University, Calumet College of St. Joseph, Fisk University, DeVry, Kaplan, Talladega, Ivy Tech, the U.S. Army and more.

Alpha Sigma Sigma Chapter Treasurer Dolly Harris said the youth symposium was created by the late Larona Morris, of East St. Louis, Ill., who was the 18th International Grand Basileus of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.

“All 400 chapters of Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. host a youth symposium the second Saturday in March. Back then, the symposium dealt with teens and peer pressure. As you can see, we have a broader range of topics that affect our young ladies,” Harris said.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. also has a club for the girls known as “Rhoers,” and members attending the symposium earned 10 hours of credit for volunteer and community services.

“These days, colleges look for community service on a high school senior’s application,” Harris said.

Rhoers Club members Mya Mims, 13, and Desiree Harris, 12, joined the club in November.

They participated in a STEM project, making homemade bouncy balls using Borax detergent, corn starch, water, glue and food coloring. They and other participants were instructed by Zeta Gamma Sigma chapter of East Chicago member Hakenah Hulitt.

Hulitt, who is a chemist with Tredebe Environmental Services in East Chicago, said it was fun to engage the children with a fairly easy science project.

“This is something I don’t get to do on the job so it is enjoyable,” she said.

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The Northwest Indiana Chapter of Women Entrepreneurs of America presents it annual Legacy Leadership Conference and Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Genesis Convention Center, 1 Genesis Center Plaza.

The keynote speaker is Niki Whitehead-Woods, of Zumba Fitness. The Stargazer Award recipient is Angela Lott, of Angela Cakes.

Tickets are $25 and can be bought by calling chapter president Genesis Jones at 614-1537 or vice president Tiffaney Sims at (219) 455-9725, or by emailing nwiwea@gmail.com.



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