Portfolio: Alumnae

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Soror Jessica Cornwell

Soror Jessica Cornwell, a Southwest Detroit Native, is a College Adviser with the Michigan College Advising Corps, which trains and places recent college graduates in high schools across the nation to advise high school students on the pathway to college. Jessica has served with MCAC for two years and has made measurable increases in the college going culture both at Battle Creek Central and in the district. She is a founding member of Battle Creek Public School’s College Going Culture Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan College Access Network. While in college, Jessica was heavily involved on campus. Participating not onlu with Zeta Sigma Chi’s Epsilon Chapter, but also studying Abroad in Brazil, working for the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs as a graphic design work-study student and serving as both a Resident Adviser and Diversity Peer Educator in the Residence Halls, she has had a more than eventful college experience. Jessica loves to share these experiences with her students and others motivating them to enroll in higher education. Jessica is extremely passionate about human rights but is particularly concerned with immigration reform, urban education and LGBT Rights.

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Soror Naomi Baldwin

Soror Naomi Baldwin, the deuce of Iota Chapter’s founding line emInence, has always wanted to help better the lives of others. She has always been interested in education and wanted to be a teacher ever since she was in second grade. Naomi enjoyed her major and had a fantastic time student teaching, but instead of teaching she ended up traveling the world while working on cruise ships. Eventually, she decided to live in South Africa where she volunteered at a preschool and after school program for kids affected with HIV/AIDS. It was during her travels through southern Africa that she came across a small rural village in Botswana that inspired her to create a non-profit organization called Building Botswana. Naomi says, “The people of this village took me in and gave me a place to stay, cooked for me over a small fire (they have no running water or electricity) and looked after me without asking for anything in return. I was amazed at how happy the children in the community were, even though their only toys are old wheels and dirty juice boxes they found in the trash.”

Building Botswana’s mission is to partner with locals in rural Botswana to build hope for poverty-stricken communities. Its projects provide an outlet for community members to be involved with creating a positive environment for their future. Building Botswana’s main project is to build a school in the village of Pandamatenga. There is only one school in this sprawling village, and many children walk up to 6.7 kilometers to get there. Until the construction of the school is complete, the organization is funding a school bus to transport the children to their current school so they do not have to make such a long commute.

Naomi is very proud to be a part of a sorority that as a whole genuinely cares about humankind and social justice. She says, “It is evident that we have been blessed with numerous women who clearly strive to make a difference in our world. This is an organization that does not discriminate against others, a place where you can be yourself and meet others who inspire, encourage and support you through both personal and professional endeavors.”

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Cherine Foty

Joining a sorority was the last thing Cherine Foty had in mind as a second-semester Freshman in college. With so much already on her plate: grades to maintain, leadership positions in organizations to run, and work-study to keep her financial situation stable. But as the co-President of my dorm’s multicultural council, she worked closely with her Minority Peer Advisor, a woman of color with an excellent academic record, strong leadership positions on campus and principled stances on issues of social justice. She was applying for law school at the time, and law was the field I wished to and later did enter. Cherine was surprised to find out that she was a member of a sorority on campus that was putting on an event called the “One Love Show”. Cherine decided to attend the event and was so pleasantly by not only the cultural, racial and ethnic diversity of the women present, but more importantly by their strong commitment to success in education and their eloquence and professionalism. She had never seen a sorority with such strong ideals.

It was at that point that she decided to pursue membership in Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority, Incorporated. It was a choice that she says have never regretted. “It has permitted me to be constantly surrounded by professional, culturally diverse women, committed to community service and social justice. I have been intellectually stimulated, introduced to cultures that I was previously unfamiliar with, and made my best friends in this organization. I have discovered myself to be a part of a nationwide network of women with ideals and principles so similar to my own despite our varied backgrounds. I received career advice, mentorship and life lessons from those members who came before me. As an undergraduate, it allowed me to be integrated into a strong community where I was able to continue to excel academically, continue to be a leader on campus and continue to stay true to myself and where I come from. Now as a practicing lawyer and law professor, I still remain very much involved with the organization, am still best friends with my sorors and am proud to see Zeta Sigma Chi still thriving nationwide and internationally.”