Among the oldest women’s fraternal associations in America, The Alpha Xi Delta sorority, established in 1893, promotes the personal development of each of its over 150,000 members. The organization furthers the ideals of sisterhood, community service, and knowledge. Perhaps most of all, the group facilitates enduring friendships among its members.
Pursuant to its community service focus, the sorority founded the Alpha Xi Delta Foundation more than a half century ago. The foundation directly supports sorority members and individuals in the wider community by furnishing millions of dollars in funds for education, scholarships, and philanthropy.
Moreover, Alpha Xi Delta members raised almost $1 million for Autism Speaks, a nonprofit advocating for autism treatment and prevention. Alpha Xi Delta chapters throughout the United States encouraged autism awareness through events like Walk Now for Autism Speaks and the AmaXing Challenge.
Learn more about Alpha Xi Delta and contribute to the sorority online at www.alphaxidelta.org.
About the author:
Dawn Johnson, a business leader formerly with USAA, belonged to the Alpha Xi Delta sorority before graduating from Kansas State University with her Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Mass Communications. Moreover, she supported the charitable activities of the Alpha Xi Delta Foundation.
Based in Indianapolis, Alpha Xi Delta functions as a women’s fraternity. Working to enable women to reach their potential, the group promotes unity, intellectual and professional accomplishments, ethics, and community service. Founded by 10 female students at Lombard College in 1893, Alpha Xi Delta currently includes 150,000 members throughout the United States.
Philanthropy remains a major focus of the organization, which supports several charities. Especially involved with autism, Alpha Xi Delta participates in Walk Now for Autism Speaks, Virtual Walk for Autism Speaks, and World Autism Awareness Day. Additionally, the fraternity created the Alpha Xi Delta Foundation, a subsidiary that has taught women how to become leaders and bolster their communities for more than 50 years.
About the Author: A resident of San Antonio, Dawn Johnson dedicated 20 years of her career to the United States Automobile Association (USAA). During her tenure, she served in various leadership roles to include President of USAA Financial Planning Services, President of USAA Alliance Services, and Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.
Outside of her professional endeavors, Johnson serves on the Board of Trustees for the South Texas Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and actively contributes to other philanthropic entities, including the Alpha Xi Delta Foundation.
With a goal of helping blood cancer patients live longer, better lives, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) began as a small volunteer-staffed organization in the 1950s and has grown to be the world’s largest nonprofit health organization. Today, charitable support is critical to the success of LLS, with volunteers involved in fundraising, office support, donor development, and much more. Many professionals, such as former USAA Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Dawn Johnson, who previously supported LLS, find that involvement in LLS activities provides a meaningful complement to their careers.
With local chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada, LLS offers community-based opportunities for involvement and support. One popular LLS offering is Team in Training (TNT), a sports endurance training program for motivated athletes seeking to compete in long-distance events. Through TNT, over 35,000 men and women prepare for marathons, 100-mile century bike rides, or triathlons. Another nationwide LLS program is Light the Night, a two- to three-mile evening walk held in over 250 cities annually. Other national programs target school-age youth and raise awareness of the prevalence of blood cancers in children under age fifteen.
Truly, LLS offers a diverse array of support opportunities—from making donations to athletic training to event participation. For busy professionals similar to former USAA leader Dawn Johnson, connecting with LLS is a powerful way to make a positive impact in their local communities.
Dawn Johnson learned the value of teamwork and a positive attitude in a most unusual place: a chicken hatchery! In this post, she reflects on the what she discovered at her first job.
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Most of us remember our first car, or our first kiss, or our first date. The “first” I remember most vividly is my first job, at the Central Kansas Hatchery.
I started working at the Hatchery at age 14, and maybe one of the reasons I remember it so well is the improbability of my love for the place. I still cringe when I think of the smell of rotten eggs, or the stench of baked-on feces, or the sight and smell of decaying dead baby birds piled high by the dumpsters. But I kept coming back every summer through my first year of college, and today I look back on those experiences with the fondest of memories.
I was paid minimum wage—a whopping $2.35 per hour. Along with a few other high-school students, I was there to take on whatever assignment came our way. We worked alongside many full-time adults who had been there every day for years. They were lovely, hard-working, trustworthy folks.
While the tasks and assignments were not glamorous, and the pay was not going to make anyone wealthy, the combination of the type of people, the type of work, and the collective teamwork and sense of togetherness was unbeatable. De-toeing chicks and washing dirty plastic hatch-boxes, I learned at a very early age that happiness doesn’t come from the type of work you do, or the assignment you are given, or how much or how little you get paid. What really drives results and personal satisfaction in a work environment is the people, the pride in being part of a team.
I credit those experiences with my business success. My time at the Hatchery taught me the value of hard work. It helped mold my people, management, and leadership skills by showing me how a job of drudgery can be transformed into something worthwhile.