Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Tyler McKenzie, Phi Theta Kappa’s International Vice President for Division 3.
Two years ago, if you had asked me where I believed I would be today, it most definitely would not be here. Introverted by nature, I found that the previous statements plagued my thoughts on a consistent basis: listen to lecture, take my exams, leave.
In and out.
I was afraid to be anything more than a good student, and before Phi Theta Kappa that’s all that I ever was. Dr. Julie Flegal-Smallwood, my advisor, noticed my aptitude for my studies, but she also saw a hidden passion within me. She encouraged me to join PTK and promised scholarships, opportunities, etc. I was intrigued but still afraid of the level of commitment associated with community service. Motivated by my curiosity, I joined and worked on my first project, the college food pantry.
The experience was incredible. We established a place for students struggling with financial stability to have access to daily essentials such as canned food and hygienics for free. Being a low-income student myself, I relished the opportunity to contribute to this cause, and to my satisfaction, the food pantry was a huge success. I discovered a new passion in volunteer work and community involvement. In truth, PTK has dissolved the introverted façade that once suppressed a side of me that I never knew existed.
This is only one example of why the REACH Rewards program is vital to not only the organization’s expanse but also to the students who are finding themselves in college. Create a student supportive atmosphere, develop a recruitment campaign, talk to students face to face; REACH is more than a percentage but an opportunity to change someone’s life for the better.
Is your chapter among those recognized as REACH Rewards Chapters in 2020? Find out.