Through volunteer service and mentoring, a Peoria fraternity invests in youth to strengthen the community.
The Peoria Alumni Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity not only helped unload and distribute 300 food boxes at the Carver Community Center Monday morning, but members also went door to door to deliver their own boxes to families of high school students who needed a little support this year.
The initiative, part of the “Go-to-High School, Go-To-College” program, emerged this year after Christopher Johnson, program coordinator, was inspired by a project done by Peoria Public Schools.
“I work for them and we did something similar for 50 families on Thanksgiving and that was so refreshing for me,” Johnson said. “So I brought this idea to the fraternity. We do this every year for Carver, so let’s take it to another level this year. Let’s knock on some doors and meet new people.”
Alpha Phi Alpha was founded in 1906 at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., and is the first Greek-letter organization established for African-American men in the United States.
Johnson said the Peoria Alumni Chapter is a collaboration of members from all over the country who, after graduating in other places, ended up landing in the Peoria area and becoming one group.
Derek Winters, a senior at Manual Academy, and Isaiah Trapp, a junior at Peoria High School, were among some of the students who pushed through the cold to help the less fortunate.
“I like to help people and I believe in giving instead of taking,” Trapp said. “It’s very important to give back.”
The “Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College” program is an educational initiative that focuses on the importance of completing secondary and collegiate education, and it is one of the national mentoring programs of the fraternity.