Cassandra Norman-McGhee served as the twentieth President of Beta Pi Omega Chapter through January 2003-December 2006.  Norman-McGhee is a graduate of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education.  She received a Master of Education Degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in Learning Disabilities.  She was initiated into Gamma Alpha chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. at Philander Smith College.  She is a Silver Star and a Life Member.  The community programs continued under Soror Norman-McGhee’s leadership through her theme, "Quality with Class: Expanding the Alpha Kappa Alpha Presence".  The chapter continued its partnerships in the Little Rock School District with tutoring at Rightsell Academy and Watson Elementary schools.  In addition, the New Directions program continued to flourish and develop through a partnership with the Nathaniel Hill Recreation Center and the youth of the East End Community in Little Rock.  The chapter continued to award $10,000 in scholarships to high school seniors and undergraduate members of the sorority.   The chapter’s fundraisers, Fashionetta, and the Pink and Green Dinner Dance (now the Ivy Ball), continued to bring in the revenue to support the scholarship fund.

 

 

Under Norman’s leadership, the chapter participated in Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Young Authors program.  Children from Rightsell Academy wrote poems and stories to be entered into local, regional, and national competition with other youth.  Although none of the local writers received regional or national recognition, the students were recognized on the local level for their efforts.  The students were given journals and pens and encouraged to continue writing.

 

Beta Pi Omega, in partnership with the Arkansas Art Center also hosted AKArtist Art Showcase.  Elementary school children from the central Arkansas area submitted original works of art for competition.  The artwork was displayed at the Arkansas Art Center Community Gallery for public viewing.  The 2004 theme was "What Freedom Means to Me:  Black History".  In 2005, the theme was "The Geometry of Me:  A Self Portrait".  The artists were recognized at a public reception where the winners were announced and awarded ribbons and cash prizes. The Beta Pi Omega Praise Dancers were formed during Soror Norman-McGhee’s leadership.  The dancers, comprised of chapter members, performed at a variety of sorority programs including the Scholarship Brunch and Founders’ Day program.

 

A major focus for the National Program during this administration was health.  In partnership with Baptist Health, Beta Pi Omega has sponsored a yearly women’s health program for the community.  Local physicians and other health professionals have spoken on relevant women’s health issues and provided useful and practical information.

 

The Beta Pi Omega Foundation of Little Rock, the non-profit 501(c) (3) arm of Beta Pi Omega, was incorporated in 2004.  In 2005, the name was changed to the Ivy Foundation of Little Rock.  Soror Norman-McGhee touts this as her proudest accomplishment.  Through the non-profit, the chapter is better able to serve all mankind because of the additional resources available to non-profits; and the community is able to get a tax benefit from their contributions. As Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Beta Pi Omega Chapter and the Ivy Foundation of Little Rock moved forward, we have shared the Heart of ESP—an Extraordinary Service Program, the program focus of Barbara A. McKinzie, 27th Supreme Basileus who took office in January of 2007. Our programs focused on Economics, Sisterhood, and Partnerships.  Education, the arts and the black family were also targets of our efforts.  We mapped out solutions to problems which affected our community.  Beta Pi Omega followed the International Program’s overall focus of leadership development.  Through the creative minds and hard work of all our members, we worked to continue to accomplish our goals.

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