On Saturday, February 13, 2016, 18 beautiful, intelligent, and energetic young ladies excitedly attended the first ASCEND meeting of 2016 for Mu Epsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. in the social hall of New Hope Presbyterian Church. After enjoying a delicious continental breakfast, the young ladies and their parents received warm greetings from Dr. Victoria Morris-Ivie, president of Mu Epsilon Omega chapter. During her remarks, she shared the history and mission of the illustrious sorority.

After formal introductions and an overview of the ASCEND program, members engaged the young ladies in a fun and interactive ice breaker. Within minutes, the young ladies were laughing, talking, and getting acquainted with their fellow ASCEND members and leaders. Throughout the rest of the morning, the young ladies were provided interactive presentations and activities in the areas of Financial Literacy, facilitated by Dr. Stefanie Phillips; Goal Setting, facilitated by DeVida Bell; College/University Selection Process, facilitated by Candyce Simpson, Allura Davis and Annee Wildgoose; and Overcoming Obstacles, facilitated by Elizabeth Archer. To ensure that the young ladies stayed energized and focused, Racquel Welch-Kitchen got them up and moving for two team building exercises that required them to trust and depend on one another.

The next meeting, scheduled in March, will include a campus tour of California State University Fullerton, an overview of the requirements to be admitted to the California State University system, financial aid session for parents, and lunch courtesy of the University.