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Brief History on Sigma Zeta Omega Chapter

The Diamond State Pearls were officially chartered as the Sigma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® in Newark, Delaware, on Saturday, January 27, 1990.

Welcome to the Sisterhood
In 1990, North Atlantic Regional Director Idell Pugh welcomed the Newark, Delaware graduate chapter into the North Atlantic Region with the blessings of Supreme President Janet Ballard.

Sigma Zeta Omega Charter Members

Yvonne Barnett
Irene Burke
Sonya Cross
Barbara Duncan
Leslie Esdaile
Ann Hodges
Cynthia Fairwell
Patricia Floyd
Joan Holden
Norma Jackson
Styna LeCompte


Sandra Maness
Eula Oliver
Olivia Roane
Sylvia Roberts
Gloria Penn
Frances Potts
Debra J. Spence
Linda West-Olds
Brenda Wilson
Phyllis Wooley

Ready To Lead

The first President of Sigma Zeta Omega Chapter was Norma J. Jackson. Norma planted the seed that would be watered with sisterhood and become the chapter of today. Her tireless efforts and dedication to Sigma Zeta Omega still live on in our daily commitment to bettering communities throughout Delaware.

In addition, Norma was also the chapter’s first Ivy Beyond the Wall. Her dedication and perseverance was at the forefront of founding Sigma Zeta Omega Chapter. Each year, a scholarship is presented to a deserving local student in her honor. Her legacy shall live forever.

Down to Business
Having met all the strict qualifications and guidelines for beginning a new chapter, the ladies of Sigma Zeta Omega wasted no time getting down to business. Members undertook dozens of chapter projects. They awarded monetary scholarships to college-bound students in the Newark, Delaware, area. The chapter also participated in community service projects that would eventually become annual endeavors:
• volunteering at the Newark Senior Center
• supporting the Emmaus House for the Homeless
• supplying educational materials to local and South African schools
• sponsoring youth educational contests and programs to foster creativity

Service to all Mankind
In its 27 years of existence, Sigma Zeta Omega has grown by leaps and bounds. We continue to strive to be supreme in service to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® .

Here is just a sample of our program highlights:

AKAette Scholarship and Mentoring Program
Women’s Business Expo
Ronald McDonald House Community Service
Mocha Expressions Book Club
Emmaus House Community Service
Volunteering with Food Bank of Delaware
March Madness Annual Greek Basketball Tournament
Glow-Bowl Bowling Parties
Relay for Life
Diabetes Walk
City of Newark Community Day
Hurricane Katrina donation/collection (with Del. Assoc. of Black Greeks)
Highway Clean-up/Buckle Up for Safety Campaign
Tree Planting with Clear into the Future
Children’s Back to School Fashion Show
Bringing Boys 2 Men
MLK Day of Service
Connections Homeless and Outreach Center
Angel Tree Donations
Neighborhood House Inc., of Delaware
SZO Line Dancing Events
Pink Goes Red
Emerging Young Leaders w/Aetna Delaware Physicians Care, Inc.
Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Chapter Meetings
Sigma Zeta Omega Chapter Meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month at 11:00 a.m. at the following location (unless otherwise notified via chapter communication):

Newark Senior Center
200 White Chapel Drive
Newark, Delaware 19713

Chapter Membership

Sigma Zeta Omega members hail from all corners of the United States (and some even abroad!). Our membership includes lawyers and law professionals, teachers and school administrators, scientists and information technology specialists, medical professionals, trainers, writers and communicators, and much more. We currently have 75 active members, and we look forward to reactivating and welcoming new members during 2017.

Chapter Presidents

Norma J. Jackson (1990-1992)
Debra Spence (1993)
Dr. Jacquita Wright-Henderson (1994-1998)
Dr. Yvonne Barnett (1999-2002)
Sylvia Roberts (2003-2006)
Kimberly Collins (2007-2008)
Tiffany Matthews (2009-2012)
Tamika Davis-Cannon (2013-2014)
Shealese P. Russell-Reams (current)

Chapter Awards & Recognitions

1996 President of the Year- Dr. Jacquita Wright-Henderson
1996 Chapter of the Year
1996 Chapter Display 3rd Place
1997 President of the Year- Dr. Jacquita Wright-Henderson
2001 President of the Year – Dr. Yvonne Barnett
2010 Chapter of the Year
2010 5 Heartbeat Membership Award
2011 President of the Year- Tiffany Matthews
2011 Ruth C. Easley Reactivation Award
2011 President’s Volunteer Service Award
2011 Program Shining Star Award
2011 Educational Advancement Foundation-Platinum Award
2012 Officer of the Year-Tamika Davis-Cannon
2012 New Sister of the Year-Greta Wilkerson-El
2012 Silver Sister of the Year –Sylvia Roberts
2012 Ruth C. Easley Reactivation Award
2012 Excellence in Reclamation by a Chapter
2012 Excellence in Reclamation by a Soror- Tiffany Matthews
2012 Educational Advancement Foundation-Platinum Award
2013 President of the Year –Tamika Davis-Cannon
2013 Good Citizenship Award – L. Germaine Scott-Cheatham
2013 Membership Ignition Status
2013 Best of the Best for Program Reporting
2013 MLK Day-Service for Peace Grant
2013 Educational Advancement Foundation-Platinum Award
2014 Ruth C. Easley Reactivation Award
2014 DuPont Volunteer Recognition Grant-Tamika Davis-Cannon
2014 JPMC Good Works Volunteer Grant- Shealese Russell-Reams
2014 Educational Advancement Foundation-Platinum Award
2014 S.T.A.R. Award
2014 Online Program Reporting
2015 Educational Advancement Foundation-Platinum Award
2015 President of the Year-Shealese P. Russell-Reams
2015 Nellie Quander Leadership Award -Tiffany Matthews
2016 Educational Advancement Foundation – Platinum Award
2016 Ruth C. Easley Reactivation Award
2016 Idell Pugh Angel Award – Patricia Floyd
2017 Educational Advancement Foundation – Platinum Award
2017 Cluster II NARC Photo Challenge Chapter
2017 Cluster II NARC Photo Challenge Individual – Shealese P. Russell-Reams