The work of our organization as told by current Sigma students and Sigma Alumni:
I grew up in a school system where education was something you were forced into, not something that you enjoyed. So when people found out that I loved going to school every morning and read books in my free time, I became an outcast, a black sheep in my school. I figured out that I had to hide my love of learning to survive day to day, and it became something of which I was ashamed. That is, until I came to high school. Being “smart” was no longer frowned upon – it was celebrated. I didn’t have to hide who I was or what I loved; I could just be me, and people were okay with that. Quickly, I found myself surrounded by people who craved education as much as I did. People who wanted to stay after school, even after all the other teachers had left for the evening. People who wanted to change the culture of education for the better, because they knew that we deserved more than we had. These people empowered me, and made me realize that I have a voice and perspective that is all my own. These people proved how powerful young adults can be, and that anyone can make a difference if they try hard enough. Sigma Alpha Sigma isn’t just an organization – it’s a network, a community, a family, and a movement. What Sigma really did for me was more than just a resume line or a recommendation letter – it re-awakened what I had always been and allowed me to finally accept myself for who I was, a dorky girl who reads too much.
My name is Kacie Griffeth. I am Sigma—this is my story.
As a high school freshman I was impressionable and my interest in school was falling ever more increasingly by the wayside. My grades were sub-par, I received my first ever suspension from an educational institution and my mom very quickly took notice. Thanks to my loving mother “urging” me to take part in an extracurricular activity, I found Sigma Alpha Sigma. In short, Sigma is an organization of student tutors, mentors, and leaders searching for the betterment of educational opportunities for every young mind that they can reach. However, in a few short years it became so much more to me. For the first time in my life I had found a group of people that celebrated your successes rather than ridiculing them. I had friends and mentors at my disposal that cared more about my future more than I myself did at the time. It is because of this organization alone that I am thriving in my post-secondary education today. This is a group of people who puts responsibility in the hands of the students, holds them accountable for said responsibility, and gives the proper recognition for their efforts. I hope that you will take the time to look into Sigma Alpha Sigma, because it is the future of public education.
My name is Brandon Dowd. I am Sigma - this is my story.
Zenoba C. Stuckey III, this kid has so much energy and made me want to start hopping around and almost tear up from how hard he made us all laugh. He seemed to know it all and made me want to know it all too. He is the person who ultimately encouraged me to join this so called Sigma Alpha Sigma; I had no other choice but to apply because I wanted to be just as happy as him and all the other people wearing those red and black shirts. Through Sigma I have been able to develop into the leader I think I was meant to be, I am a role model to not only my siblings, my peers, my now former high school, and an entire organization and community. I am proud and honored to have been given the tools and knowledge needed to get into a private school as a first generation college student with a enough scholarships to pay off all my tuition for the next four years. Sigma gave me and all of my peers a voice, one that when combined can make a true difference. Together we have created a voice that can improve education through the eyes of a student, impact a community, and in the near future change the world. Sigma has not only been my most cherished extracurricular but it has become and will remain my family for the rest of my life.
My name is Ruby. I am Sigma - this is my story.
When I first started high school, I was a very shy young adult. I constantly had body image issues as well as low self-esteem. Also I was constantly told that once I hit high school my grades would fall off and I'd start receiving C's and B's instead of the usual all A's and maybe one B that I was use to up until then. Originally I was approached about the idea of Sigma Alpha Sigma by one of my teachers and I didn't really want to hear it initially and just blew it off because I was already doing marching band and didn't want to be bogged down by something else. So fast forward to the orientation of my Sophomore year and I see my friends working the orientation with the group Sigma Alpha Sigma. I asked one of my friends "you actually joined Sigma?" and he said, "yeah it's actually pretty cool there are different ways you can help out and this is one of them. You should check it out." So once they were accepting applications I applied. After I was accepted, I became a tutor and volunteered at events hosted by Sigma and my school. The next year I was asked to be the director of the tutoring program and, with slight hesitation, accepted the roll. I didn't know anything about leading or managing students, but Ms. McCallister saw the leader I could be and began to challenge me to do more leading roles. I was even a tour guide, leading incoming students and eventually new students and their parents at our open house and orientation events. With every leading role I became more confident and more secure with my actions and ability to lead and be an example of a great leader. Then I got tasked my senior year with being the financial affairs trustee of this organization, when two years prior the idea of meeting new people was a scary thought to me. I performed the task successfully and even got multiple chances to talk in front of a mass audience and have fun doing it. Then as my senior year chapter was closing, I was approached by Ms. McCallister and asked to fill in an open spot for the baccalaureate ceremony with only 3 days until the event. I agreed to do it with no hesitation because I knew I was capable of standing in front of my peers and their parents and give a funny and uplifting speech that they could take into their next steps in life. Without Sigma Alpha Sigma and Ms. McCallister believing I could be a great leader and the guidance of my teacher and mentor Mr. Lentz, I would not be the outgoing, confident individual I am today.
My name is Washington Strong III. I am Sigma—this is my story.
I started high school in August of 2014 and in the beginning, I absolutely hated school and dreaded getting up on the weekdays to go to a place that I really did not enjoy at all. A little later on in the year, I joined a student-led organization called Sigma Alpha Sigma, which I hope to continue through the rest of my years in high school and even after graduation. Sigma helps motivate me to try harder in life, even outside of education. Because of this program, I have learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses, life, others, who I am as a person, and how to become a better me. I've realized that I am more than just a number and if I work hard and keep my mind focused on my goals, I can make it and I can become successful even if it takes a little bit of help from 300 kids who come together off school grounds to do great things. I know that through everything, there will always be people who believe in me and will help me get to the top. I know I can become something great and I will become something great.
I am Kiana Bosch. I am Sigma—this is my story.
I've been sitting in seminars and meetings and presentations for about a week now and I can honestly say the things they are talking to me about, I have already learned previously with the Sigma meetings and presentations. My preparation and transition to college is smooth as pie from leadership, getting involved, and being blue to presenting myself in all types of situations. Sigma really did prepare me for FSU. I'm not going to lie though I'm nervous for when fall term comes around. There will be 40,000 plus students but I'm glad to call myself a Bolt, a Sigma, and now a Nole. Ridge is an amazing school I have people in the CARE program who come from mostly white or mostly black schools and that's not the norm for me so shout out to the diversity at Ridge. I am ready for college!
My name is Abdullah Derosier. I am Sigma—this is my story.
When I first began high school, I did not start at Ridge Community, but at another local high school that had the International Baccalaureate Program. When I decided that I did not like the program, I transferred. When I first arrived, I heard of this awesome program named Sigma Alpha Sigma that embodied all the aspects of fun, academics, social life, community service, and most importantly family. These are all things I was raised on from a little girl. I was not able to join my freshman year due to arriving at the school after the application deadline, but my sophomore year I took the opportunity to do so. My decision did not ever turn out to be disappointing. The founders, advisors, and current members welcomed me with open arms before I even applied. I was able to participate in the leadership academy and work one on one with the freshman to make the transition from middle school to high school more bearable. This has been one of the biggest highlights of my high school career. My former freshmen still message me every day, and even cried when I graduated. I guess I made a difference. If it wasn't for Sigma, I would not have been able to mentor the freshman for two years. My senior year I became super busy, but I made every Sigma meeting I could. Cali even thanked me for hanging on and that was the icing on the cake I called high school. Sigma Alpha Sigma is something every single high school student should be a part of. It taught me a lot. Although my email is brief, I can write a book about how great Sigma is. I believe the nation is sleeping on Sigma and when you finally see how great our organization is, you will want to make it a standard in every high school. I am speaking as an alumni, but I will always be a proud member.
I am Aaliyah Wise. I am Sigma—this is my story.