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ELC Blog

Posted On: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 10:00 AM, by Sarah Kindscher
2014-2015 Educational Leadership Consultant Team
It's crazy to think how much can happen in a year. Last summer, a group of 15 women from 14 different chapters and 12 different states came together for one common purpose—to promote Kappa Alpha Theta's values and ideals and influence undergraduate members for the betterment of the Fraternity. Through serving as educational leadership consultants (ELCs), we have been able to facilitate growth and development in Theta women and have a hand in furthering the future of our college chapters for the continued growth of Kappa Alpha Theta.

It's also crazy to think how much has been accomplished in the last year for the Give to Lead, Give to Learn Campaign. Give to Lead, Give to Learn is Kappa Alpha Theta's $5 million endowment campaign to fund the need-based scholarship program and, particularly of interest to us, the ELC program. Since the Campaign's public launch at Grand Convention in 2014, $3.8 million has been secured for these two programs, and now the focus has turned entirely to raising the remaining $1.2 million needed for the ELC program's endowment. Just as the ELCs are investing in the future of Theta's 138 college chapters, Theta Foundation is investing in us, the ELCs, to ensure this program is available to support all college chapters today and in the years to come.

And, it's also crazy to think that since the ELC program began in 1959, 387 women have served as ELCs, and nearly 100 college chapters have been established as a result of their efforts. Each year, every one of Theta's college chapters receives at least one visit from a consultant, and the resources necessary to make this possible are not insignificant. The education and leadership development we receive through our ongoing consultant training—and in turn, provide to collegiate women—is made possible through Theta Foundation's support of the ELC program. Almost every woman who has served as an ELC can speak directly to the impact of this program on Theta's college members, but a lesser-shared perspective is the impact the program continues to have on us. It is difficult to articulate the program's impact on our professional and personal development, but we feel it's important to share how serving in this vital role for the Fraternity has developed us as leading women:

"The ELC program has taught me the importance of working for an organization that you believe in full-heartedly. The team's love for Theta pushes us to put our best foot forward and work until the job is done. Not many people can say they work for an organization that pulls at their heartstrings the way that Theta does for all of us and, for that, I am extremely thankful." -Alyssa Barnes, full-time traveling ELC

"The ELC program has introduced me to so many different women all over the country who have profoundly impacted my life. I will always remember the women I met on my ELC journey because those conversations and interactions shaped me as a woman. Those women believed in me and pushed me to be a better person, and a better Theta. I am forever thankful to the ELC program and Kappa Alpha Theta for shaping me into the woman I am today."—Julia Hart, based ELC at Eta Omega/St. Louis University

"My experience as an ELC has provided me with the tools to tackle any situation, whether it is professional or personal. It has built confidence in me to know that I can handle anything that is put in my path and the faith to know that I will come out stronger in the end."-Jenny Cook, full-time traveling ELC

"The ELC program has not only allowed for the creation and progression of our newest chapters, but also made our well-established chapters more dynamic. I personally saw so much change in my own undergraduate experience that is still taking place now because of the ELCs that provided guidance to my chapter."—Madison Cannon, full-time traveling ELC

"Being an ELC for Kappa Alpha Theta has provided me with numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth. In addition, this program has challenged me in more ways than I could have ever imaged. As a result, I have a grown to be the best version of myself, gained an even deeper love for the values of this organization, and found 14 of the greatest co-workers and friends. I am so thankful to have had this once-in-a-lifetime experience and know my time with Theta is far from over."—Sami Bahu, based ELC at Zeta Chi/Johns Hopkins University

These testimonials are just a few examples of the influence the ELC program has had on us, and we are forever grateful for the ELC program and its aim to serve the undergraduate women of the Fraternity.

In recognition of the profound impact the ELC program has had on each of us, as a group, we have chosen to make personal financial investments in this program's future through Give to Lead, Give to Learn. We hope that through our contribution in support of Theta's future, we will inspire others who have been impacted by ELCs to invest in Give to Lead, Give to Learn to ensure the ELC program continues to make a lasting impact on Kappa Alpha Theta.

Sarah Kindscher, Educational Leadership Consultant, Gamma Psi/Texas Christian University

Posted On: Friday, April 10, 2015 09:13 AM, by Alyssa Barnes
The 2014-2015 ELC team with NPC Delegate Mary Jane Beach during training this summer.
Words cannot begin to describe how thankful I am for the women who give their time, love, and care to better our Fraternity each and every day on a volunteer basis. Thinking back to my own collegiate experience, I remember feeling that I would be lost without the guidance of my chapter advisors. Now being on the road working with local advisors, district directors, committee chairmen, and Grand Council, I am in awe of the number of women who have committed themselves to aid Thetas all around the world. They firmly believe in the principles on which Bettie Locke founded this organization upon 145 years ago. They are dedicated to supporting our mission statement that reads, "Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, Kappa Alpha Theta exists to nurture each member throughout her college and alumnae experience and to offer a lifelong opportunity for social, intellectual, and moral growth as she meets the higher and broader demands of mature life." Most importantly, they truly embody and are prime examples of Leading Women.

During my time as an ELC, I have been thanked hundreds of times by so many individuals, but always by Fraternity volunteers. While I am so appreciative for their kind words and constant encouragement, the roles should be reversed. I should constantly be thanking them for their dedicated service. These women are working full time, taking care of their families, battling diseases, and juggling a hundred different obligations, but still find time to give back to Kappa Alpha Theta.

On my visits, one of the first questions I ask during my meetings with a collegian is about their relationship with their respective advisor. The answers I have received have served an inspiration in themselves. So many of them have told me stories about how integral their advisor is to the success of their chapter. Many times, these women have told me that their advisor is an inspiration and serves as a true role model to them. On the flip side, during my meetings with an advisor, I am always curious to learn why they made the decision to advise. While their answers and stories range, their firm belief in membership in Kappa Alpha Theta remains the same. It is their enjoyment in watching women grow and develop throughout their collegiate experience. Above all, it is their love and passion for this organization that keeps them returning year after year.

In closing, I would simply like to say thank you. I know many times volunteer work can be a thankless job, but please know just how important you all are to the success of the Fraternity. It is my firm belief the Fraternity would not be able to function at the level that it does without you all. You women inspire me, challenge me, and encourage me to serve this organization to the best of my ability. Through your dedicated service, you remind me just how valuable membership truly is.

Have you thanked a Fraternity volunteer today? Take the time to let them know the kind of impact and influence they have had on your membership in Kappa Alpha Theta.

Alyssa Barnes, Educational Leadership Consultant, Gamma Psi/Texas Christian University

Posted On: Monday, March 30, 2015 10:49 AM, by Alexa Borowski
Alexa at Auburn University on one of her recent visits this spring.
If you've interacted with an ELC or another fraternity volunteer, you might have noticed our unique sign off. Between the last thought and signature, you'll see us all close with "Loyally." Throughout college I interacted with staff and volunteers and mindlessly used the same closing. As an ELC, only after 26 visits, 15 states, hundreds of collegians and countless emails, I'm only beginning to understand my loyal promises.

Life on the road is fun! It is also challenging, surprising, confusing, and exhausting. Though every day is a new challenge, it's a new way for me to be an earnest, faithful and enthusiastic worker for the Fraternity. Some days it means delivering good news, celebrating success and giving a "keep doing what you're doing" encouragement. Other days it means having the tough conversation, correcting missteps, or redirecting officer's energies in a more productive way. Some days are hard, some days are great. However, every day is worth it.

My loyal promise is to give my best when my best is needed. I was recently re-assigned from being a full-time traveling consultant to a based consultant with our newest chapter, Theta Kappa at University of Louisville. Though I was excited for a new experience, I'm always nervous to try something new. It's been a wonderful few months in Kentucky, and I have Ioved having the opportunity to experience based life. It comes with new challenges and tests, but not with its own successes and triumphs. Either way, the ELC program continues to influence my life every day.

The growth and maturity I've seen in myself these few short months are priceless and invaluable to my future career. The ELC program has developed me professionally and honed my soft skills to ensure that I will continue to be a hard worker in pursuit of all my aspirations. It's pulled me from my previous expectations for myself to a place where I'm no longer afraid to run toward my dreams.

I am forever indebted to this Fraternity and the ELC Program. Just as Theta transformed my collegiate experience at Texas Tech, the Fraternity has once again made a pure, deep and influential impression that has altered me forever. I'll never be able to articulate just how much Bettie and her friends changed my life, but I am grateful and blessed.

As March comes to a close and April's showers cleanse and bring new clarity, it is my sincerest hope that each of us find what "Loyally" means to us. My best to you as you find your place in this amazing organization and allow the Fraternity's promises to push you towards your best self.

Loyally, Alexa.

Interested in becoming an ELC and transforming your perspective? Check out @thetaelcs on Instagram or Kappa Alpha Theta ELCs on Facebook to keep up with all the ELCs as they travel throughout the year and support our college chapters!

Alexa Borowski, Educational Leadership Consultant, Gamma Phi/Texas Tech University

Posted On: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 12:15 PM, by Sami Bahu
ELCs Sami & Courtney on JHU's Campus!
"I dream of the endless possibilities for the good and close friendship that this fraternity makes possible through the years, and it awes me a little to think that I had a part in starting it. Just think. If it grows and multiplies, it may someday bring together into sisterly relationship women from all parts of the country who have never seen each other before, who are all friends, because of Theta..."
-Bettie Locke Hamilton

These words, from our founder, Bettie Locke have always held a special place in my heart since joining the organization. Over the past seven months, I have had the pleasure of serving as the second year support consultant for the Zeta Chi/Johns Hopkins University chapter. During this time, I have frequently thought of the words above while watching this chapter grow during their second year of re-establishment.

Throughout my time with this amazing group of women, I have witnessed more accomplishments than I could have ever imagined. Without a doubt, the most memorable moment thus far was when the current executive recruitment board (ERB) submitted the chapter's bid list on preference night. While to some the evening may have seemed like it was just another ERB meeting, another list submitted and another late night, to me, it was much more. It was the moment I knew these women had truly transformed into the leading women Kappa Alpha Theta pushes us to be. The officers successfully lead the chapter through a long and tireless week of recruitment and were ready to welcome the next new member class.

Going back to Bettie Locke's words ". If it grows and multiplies, it may someday bring together into sisterly relationship women... who are all friends, because of Theta". This recruitment helped the chapter grow and nearly double in size. As I watched all the new members walk into Zeta Chi's bid day celebration, I knew wholeheartedly, these words were ringing true. From this moment on, these women would be welcomed into sisterly bonds and friendships with those who were previously strangers.

Just two and a half short months later, I am in awe each and every day witnessing the close friendships that have been formed. I am forever grateful to the Fraternity for allowing me to work directly with a college chapter during their second year. Being able to see this chapter further develop, I am able to continuously watch the Fraternity grow and multiply, just as Bettie Locke hoped it would.

How have you seen Kappa Alpha Theta grow?

Sami Bahu, Educational Leadership Consultant, Eta Theta/Central Florida

Posted On: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 02:15 PM, by Julia Hart
ELC Julia and Recruitment Advisor Kristin pose with Nu/Hanover after primary recruitment in January!
When I joined Kappa Alpha Theta as a freshman in college, like many other freshman members, I had no idea what an advisor was. Wait? Who is that older lady that sits at the front of chapter meeting? She's a Theta? Is she in our chapter?
After becoming an officer and working with wonderful advisors in my own college chapter (shout-out Zeta Upsilon), I knew that being an advisor was in my future. I experienced the mentorship and support that an advisory board provides, and I knew that I wanted to be that for a college chapter in the future.

During my travels as an ELC, I have seen the enormous impact and effect that advisors have on a college chapter. Advisors are wonderful mentors, resources, and such wise women. Being a part of the advisory board, extends your membership experience in a special way. It allows you to continue to see your personal college chapter grow, or watch another wonderful chapter succeed with your help and guidance. I have met so many wonderful women that support our college chapters around the country. Meeting these fabulous Thetas has strengthened my desire to serve the fraternity as a chapter advisor.

As my ELC experience is coming to an end, I am excited to begin a new chapter in my Theta membership experience. I am so blessed to have experienced being an ELC, but I can say with confidence that I could not be more thrilled to add another chapter to my Theta story by becoming a chapter advisor.

Julia Hart, Educational Leadership Consultant, Zeta Upsilon/UT Dallas

Posted On: Friday, March 13, 2015 11:34 AM, by Kaitlyn Luppino
ELC Kaitlyn Luppino and Assistant Director of Chapter Services Christa Samaha
"Why did you decide to become an ELC?" is a question I am asked on all of my chapter visits. Each time I reply, "Because of the ELCs who visited my chapter."

I remember my first meeting with an ELC. I did not know too much about ELCs, but I was able to meet with her as a member of MDC. She was able to provide insight that allowed my chapter to achieve its goals. The second time an ELC visited, I was able to spend more time meeting with her as I was an executive committee officer. She was positive, helpful and most important, I felt as though she was my biggest supporter even when I got us a little lost on the way to the airport.

By the time I was an upperclassman, I began thinking about the real world. After my meetings with the ELC as a junior and senior I became enamored by the ELC program. I had already seen how helpful ELCs were in helping chapters succeed, but I also realized that an ELC could make a huge impact on us as individuals.

Now that I am an ELC, I am still smitten by the program each and every day. From the students I work with at college chapters, to the headquarters' staff, to volunteers and other ELCs, I am amazed by these leading women. These women of Kappa Alpha Theta have the same effect on me now as they did when I was a collegian. I appreciate their advice and constant support.

As I reflect on my time as an ELC, I feel as though I have come full circle. The ELC who truly inspired me to be the best leader and woman I could be, as well as encouraged me to apply for the ELC program, is now my boss. She was there for me as a chapter officer, but also as an individual and this has not wavered despite her new role. I am reminded daily of how special this job is and I can only hope that I too will have the same effect on a chapter member during one of my visits.

Kaitlyn Luppino, Educational Leadership Consultant, Delta Omicron/University of Alabama

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