From Illinois to South Africa

A Phi Sigma Sigma sister “Aims High” each day as she volunteers with the Peace Corps

Alana McGinty (Epsilon Alpha Chapter at Illinois State University) is proud to be a Phi Sigma Sigma as she resides in South Africa working with the Peace Corps. In January 2011, Alana arrived in South Africa to work with the Community HIV/AIDS Outreach Project (CHOP). In the community she works with Ikhwezi Support Group, a small non-profit organization. Its primary focus is to support those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

“My goal is to build their capacity in order to help their programs run efficiently and effectively,” said Alana in a recent interview.

Alana – a native to Warrenville, Illinois – graduated from Illinois State University in 2010. She double majored in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Peace and Conflict Resolution. Alana attributes her involvement at the University directly to her membership in Phi Sigma Sigma. “Phi Sigma Sigma granted me many opportunities to learn and challenge myself in order to successful in life,” said Alana.

During her time as a collegian, she served her chapter as archon, Panhellenic delegate, as well as Leadership and Involvement committee chair. In addition, she was the Leadership Student Specialist for the Leadership and Service Office, Off-Campus Senator for the Student Government Association and a Trip Leader for three years for the Alternative Spring Break program. Alana is also a member of the Red Tassel Motor Board, Pi Sigma Alpha, Order of Omega, Rho Lambda and the Illinois State University Honors Program.

Alana is currently working with five other women in the community to plan and implement Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World), which will take place in October. The week-long camp will center around four themes – HIV/AIDS and wellness, personal growth and development, leadership and female empowerment. The goal is to educate, empower and provide skills to aid in the development of confident female leaders who make healthy life choices.

Children’s health and safety has always been important to Alana. In fact, her passion for philanthropy began when she was reading an article on child abuse in the Chicago Tribune. After asking her mom to explain to her what parts of the article meant, she was motivated to help. She organized a fundraiser to help raise money for the organization that helped abused children – Alana was only 8 years old.

“I knew before I went to college that I wanted to join a sorority,” said Alana. “Belonging to an organization which stands for the advancement of womanhood, and aims to ignite positive change in the world is something very important to me!” Each day, she remembers how important it is to live the open motto of Phi Sigma Sigma – to Aim High. “I constantly challenge myself to continue to grow and become better every day.”

Alana’s hope is to inspire the female youth to realize their full potential and dare to reach for their dreams. If you are interested in learning more about the projects or programs, contact Alana through the Phi Sigma Sigma website database.