In honor of our seven Founders, we get to know one Alpha Chi Omega through seven questions.
Sophia Casey (Tau, Brenau University)
Not only is Sophia the president of Tau chapter, she also is helping her classmates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her T-shirt fundraiser for Brenau’s Emergency Student Assistance Fund brought in more than $4,500 to provide financial assistance to students facing unexpected challenges in continuing their studies.
Q: How did you get the idea for the T-shirt fundraiser?
A: Throughout the summer I was seeing many articles about the impact COVID-19 would have on colleges, specifically small liberal arts colleges like Brenau University. My school has given me so much, and I wanted to do something to give back. I reached out to my biggest mentor, a Brenau professor, and she helped me brainstorm. We decided on a T-shirt fundraiser, and she helped me find a website that would make it possible. After solidifying the design and getting all of the details from the printing company, I contacted administration for approval to use the university’s name. Once they approved the idea, I was able to start the fundraiser.
Q: What was the process for creating your design?
A: After being sent home in March, I was reminiscing about time spent at my university and drew a picture of one of our most beautiful buildings, Pearce Auditorium. When I had the idea to design a shirt later in the summer, I thought that illustration would be perfect. I also included a line from the Brenau Ideal, which is a purpose Brenau students aspire to exemplify. The Ideal was written by our former President H. J. Pearce, who is also the auditorium’s namesake. The line I chose is one of my favorites: “Love deeply, fear nothing, hate never.” I felt that this line would bring some much-needed positivity to a very uncertain time.
Q: How does it feel knowing your design helped to raise so much money to support your classmates?
A: I was honestly so blown away by the support my design received, but it just solidified the Brenau community’s commitment to supporting students. I’m so proud to belong to such a generous community, and I’m deeply honored that I was given the opportunity to help other students take part in the Brenau experience that has shaped my life.
Q: What thoughts would you share with other Alpha Chi Omegas about sisterhood and connection during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: During these difficult times, I think it’s so important to remember what initially drew us to Alpha Chi Omega. Our sisterhood isn’t about events and activities, but about the love and commitment we have to bettering ourselves and each other. COVID-19 isn’t taking any of that away. Rather than viewing new guidelines as an obstacle, choose to view them as an opportunity to go back to our roots and get creative in finding new ways to support one on another and grow in our bond.
Q: What have been some of the highlights of your Alpha Chi experience so far?
A: The biggest highlight of my Alpha Chi experience thus far was being installed as chapter president by our outgoing president, Autumn Jordan (now a chapter consultant for Alpha Chi Omega headquarters). Ever since I joined Alpha Chi Omega, I had looked up to her in many ways and had frequently turned to her for advice. I watched her learn and grow in her leadership ability as chapter president, and I was so inspired by what her Alpha Chi experience had done for her. Having her pass that position down to me was such a special moment.
Another highlight was watching my sisterhood come together in the hours after our university announced it would have to close due to COVID-19. My sisters dropped everything to make sure the seniors were given a proper exit, and we even had alumnae immediately offer to help with Hall of Commitment despite the last-minute notice. It was so inspiring to watch everyone find ways to celebrate the seniors and find moments of positivity in the midst of the storm. I loved getting to see my sisters show up for one another in a time of need.
Q: How has Alpha Chi Omega had an impact in your life?
A: Alpha Chi Omega has given me the confidence to become the woman I’ve always hoped to be. It isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, but the experiences I’ve had here have helped to mold me into someone who can take on a challenge. Through Alpha Chi, I’ve found a family that stands behind me and a network of women to learn from.
Q: What does being a real, strong woman mean to you?
A: Being a real, strong woman means finding power in your vulnerabilities. It’s not about having an outer appearance of being strong; it’s about using your perceived weaknesses as an advantage. It’s opening up and using your experiences to build community and connection. You’ll impact far more through sharing your truths rather than sharing your highlight reel.
Want to share your story and your #WhyAlphaChi? Visit the Contact Us link at the bottom of this page or email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us more!