Giving Back: Delta Sigma Theta promoting community awareness

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, February 17, 2016

LAPLACE — The River Parishes Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta is filled with college-educated women focused on community service, according to chapter president Mary Carpenter.

Kevell Byrd, bottom row, from left, Myla Edwards, Mckenzie Manuel, top row, Ayannah Hannah, Ayi’yana Jackson, Jada Brown and Aliyan Ford enjoy the Delta Academy.

Kevell Byrd, bottom row, from left, Myla Edwards, Mckenzie Manuel, top row, Ayannah Hannah, Ayi’yana Jackson, Jada Brown and Aliyan Ford enjoy the Delta Academy.

“It seems like almost every month we are doing different things to be involved in the community,” she said. “Wherever we see the need for involvement in the community, we do. It’s all about community awareness and being engaged in things that are going to make the citizens more aware of the need for things.”

Erika Love, the chapter treasure, joined the sorority because she liked the sisterhood and the different activities done for the community.

“We do walks and try to raise money for St. Jude and breast cancer research,” Love said. “We raise money for scholarships, we tutor kids after school, we help feed the senior citizens during Christmas and Thanksgiving and (help run a) Mardi Gras program.”

Helping the community has a special place in Love’s heart.

“I feel I need to give back to the community no matter what,” she said.

“I feel the community is part of me. I deal with the community a lot being a teacher and I feel like helping the community is a way to build up the future.”

The sorority also helps a specific part of the River Parishes — young girls ages 11-14 — through the Delta Academy, which covers sisterhood, scholarship and service.

“The academy has a distinct focus on encouraging and assisting participants in pursing education and careers in math, science and technology,” Carpenter said.

“We have certain guidelines of things that we do with the girls, one of which is STEM projects. We also have economic development things, where we make them aware of how to make financial decisions, banking and other things that will make them economically sound. We also try and teach them about life decisions.”

Those in Delta Academy, which has 20 girls currently, are asked to participate in community events such as visiting nursing homes and things of that nature.

“What we try and do with the girls is work with the whole child,” Carpenter said. “We want to involve them in things to direct them and steer them so they have a good wholesome life and make educated choices.”

Delta Sigma Theta offers three scholarships a year for each parish they serve — St. John the Baptist, St. James and St. Charles.

“The scholarships are for enhancing and promoting educational excellence,” Carpenter said. “We are offering one $500 scholarship to a student within each parish. Eventually, we hope to increase that, but we are still relatively new.”

Delta Sigma Theta is accepting applications for scholarships for the 2015-2016 year.

An applicant must be a resident of one of the parishes, must be a high school graduating senior, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and be actively involved in community service.

If a student is chosen for the scholarship, they must be enrolled in a college or university by August 2016.

The scholarship is open to male and female students. The deadline for applications is April 3. For more information and to download the application, those interested should go to