June 17, 2015
Alumnae Volunteer Perspective: Leading Alpha Phi Then and Now…
Leadership is one of my dearest values and, luckily, Alpha Phi shares the same devotion to leadership for all its members. Alpha Phi provides collegiate and alumna members the ability to gain more leadership skills through the many opportunities they provide. I am so happy to be a part of an organization that truly cares about the success of its members.
One of my most cherished Alpha Phi experiences was attending the Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) as a collegian in 2008. I knew I wanted to make a difference in my chapter, and I thought ELI would be the place to gain confidence and to understand Alpha Phi from an even bigger perspective than just my tiny state school. Little did I know that it would change my life forever.
When attending ELI, you are constantly learning and growing, whether it be in a large group session or in your smaller Silver Circle sessions. I remember being so enthralled by the amazing women who were volunteering their time and talents to help collegians find their voice. I was strongly impacted by all of these alumnae and it helped me change for the better. I knew that there was something much more to Alpha Phi than just the 50 women in my chapter. There was a lifelong love and commitment to our organization, which you could tell gave so much to those alumnae, and they wanted to give their love back through volunteering.
After those five intense days at Butler University, I felt an obligation to be a steward of our organization, to pay it forward, and to give back as much as it had given to me. Luckily, ELI gave me my volunteer start in more than one way. I was asked to serve the Fraternity as its Music Consultant upon graduation. My prayers had been answered! I resolved to give back to my Fraternity, and this was my chance.
Once I became an alumna member, I wanted to dive in and get involved with volunteering as much as I could. I got more involved on the international and regional levels. Then I received an email from Alpha Phi regarding the search for ELI facilitators, and at that moment I knew this was the way for me to truly serve as a steward.
I have been a Silver Circle facilitator three times since I graduated in 2010, and each time has been crazy, wonderful, rewarding and life-changing. Each time I attend, it reaffirms my love and commitment to our fraternity, and it makes me incredibly hopeful for its future. The collegians that attend ELI, remind me of myself and the many amazing volunteers I have met through these fantastic leadership opportunities. I hope that I impact those collegians, just as the amazing Silver Circle facilitators at my ELI session impacted me.
Without the strong leadership foundation and fundamental skills Alpha Phi has given me, I would not be the type of volunteer I am today. ELI gave me a sense of purpose and helped me realize how important it is to spread the Alpha Phi love.
Sami Conter Hoerner (Theta Xi-Shippensburg) currently serves as the Music Consultant for the Fraternity, as well as the Chapter Advisor for the Eta Tau chapter at SUNY Cortland. She continues to share her love of Alpha Phi with collegiate members each year at ELI. Alpha Phi thanks her for her service and stewardship.
The Emerging Leaders Institute is funded each year through a grant from Alpha Phi Foundation. All attendees receive a full scholarship to participate in this unique experience designed to provide Alpha Phi’s rising leaders with the unique opportunity to learn from successful alumnae and each other.