Arnisha Jones could have moved far, far away from home to go to college—halfway across the country, in fact—if she’d wanted to.
But she found everything she needed in Flint.
The Southfield native chose to study and live at UM-Flint because of scholarship opportunities and the small class sizes—getting to know her professors was important to her, she said.
She ended up finding more than she bargained for when she joined the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Mu-Phi chapter.
Now graduating as the president of the sorority, she said it gave her countless opportunities to network, meet people, and stay involved on and off campus.
“Being a part of it is really, really cool,” she said.
In fact, after her first year on campus, it led to the job she has until this day, working for UM-Flint’s Educational Opportunity Initiatives.
Now a program officer, she works with high-schoolers and middle-schoolers to help them prepare and have the skills they need to succeed in college.
One of her sisters in the sorority already worked there, and was able to help her fill out her application and apply, she said—and it worked out well, because as she’s graduating with a degree in social work, she’s had three years of experience working with underprivileged youth and their families.
“I actually love my job,” she said.
Through Delta Sigma Theta, Jones also volunteered for other causes including HIV and AIDS awareness, breast cancer, and domestic violence.
Jones’s story is a testament to the thriving community of Greek letter organizations and the opportunities they allow at UM-Flint.
When Levi Hurley first came to UM-Flint he didn’t know anyone, and it was an unfamiliar place.
Five years later, he’s graduating with an enormous network of friends and connections as well as volunteer experience—all of which he attributes to his involvement with his fraternity.
“I just really enjoyed the connections I made with all the company and brothers, and haven’t looked back since,” Hurley said.
Through his fraternity, Kappa Sigma, he was able to not only make friends, but receive advice on classes to take, and take advantage of service opportunities. While a member of Kappa Sigma he volunteered for Relay for Life, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, and Habitat for Humanity.
He also volunteered for Kappa Sigma’s Military Heroes Campaign, an organization that supports veterans.
“That one hit really close to home for me,” Hurley said, adding that he has veterans in his family.
While not all of the volunteer opportunities aligned with his career goals—he’s graduating with a double major in molecular biology and research psychology—he said he’s grateful for the experiences and the perspectives he gained from them. He’d never done any kind of construction work before, for example, until he worked with Habitat for Humanity.
Being part of Kappa Sigma also gave him an extra reason to keep his grades up. He wasn’t just representing himself anymore. Kappa Sigma members must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5.
“It kept me honest to my studies because I had that much more of a reason—because I had 30 other guys hounding me to keep them up,” he said. “There was always someone to hang out at the library with.”
That’s the other thing. Both Jones and Hurley both say they’re glad about all the practical opportunities they had from their involvement with their organizations. But it gave them something else, too. It gave them brothers and sisters on campus.
“It was nice to have an actual sisterhood,” Jones said. “Always having a sister around who was always there for you in a time of need.”
- College of Arts & Sciences
- Educational Opportunity Initiatives
- School of Education & Human Services
- Social Work
- Student Life
Scott Atkinson is a writer for UM-Flint University Relations and teaches writing.