For over 25 years, with dedication and commitment, the sorors of this historic and outstanding chapter have supported the cause of education excellence by securing over 1.5 million dollars in funds to assist over 300+ young African American women with their college costs.
The Rites of Passage/ARIYA Program is sponsored by the St. Louis Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Its purpose is to provide character development and leadership training for young African-American Women and to encourage them to pursue college after high school graduation as well as to empower them to take ownership of their futures by providing an opportunity for them to generate scholarship funds for their post-secondary education.
The participants partake in six months of training where they are exposed to leaders in the community, who present workshops in carefully selected areas geared toward enhancing self-esteem, valuing education, appreciating cultural heritage, promoting community involvement and other areas of special interest. After completing six months of training, the participants in the Rites of Passage Ceremony are granted permission by their families and the community to transition to the next level of social and educational development. The ARIYA, a Swahili word meaning celebration, is the program’s culminating activity and public celebration where the participants are presented to the community. All participants must be high school seniors with a minimum GPA of 2.5 (4.0 scale).