College Greek life still has merits

Members of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity stop for a lunch break in Vicksburg Friday during a cross-country trip, called Journey of Hope ending in Washington, D.C. to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. Justin Sellers | The Vicksburg Post

He was calling to tell me he had just finished covering Journey of Hope’s stop in Monroe, and to let me know their next stop would be in Vicksburg the following day. Journey of Hope is a three-pronged cross-country cycling trip put on by Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s national philanthropy, The Ability Experience.

I jumped at the chance to cover this event and connect with people from around the country who were similarly motivated by The Ability Experience. When I was in college, the philanthropy was known as PUSH America, but recently changed names as part of a rebranding effort. Regardless, the philanthropy, which focuses on raising awareness and funds for the differently abled, both physically and intellectually, is what drew me to Pi Kappa Phi in the first place.

From athletic tournaments and events like Pedal for PUSH, Scaffold Sit and Donut Dash, my local chapter was able to raise tens of thousands of dollars for this philanthropy, and we also did work on promoting general awareness for the differently abled through our work with the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign. I don’t think anything beats the time we spent with differently abled individuals at events like the Special Olympics and Buddy Ball.

When I look back on college, those are some of the memories I’ll never forget. I’m thankful for those experiences and the lessons I learned from them. Sure, I had fun at the date parties and intramural games, but those aren’t the experiences that helped shape my adult life.

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