Message from the President
On behalf of the members of the Pearls of the Ivy Foundation, Incorporated®, I would like to thank you for visiting our website.
The Pearls of the Ivy Foundation, Incorporated®, a non-profit 501©3 organization, is the fundraising entity for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® Upsilon Lambda Omega Chapter. The Foundation was organized in 2008 to provide scholarships to exemplary high school students who are accepted by an accredited college or university, assist students in college with demonstrated financial need, and provide funding for programs and activities identified as community service needs primarily in the Best Southwest Cities of Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, and Lancaster, Texas.
In conjunction with The Pearls of the Ivy Foundation, Inc. the Upsilon Lambda Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., supports local, national, and international non-profit programs and organizations that serve the public, and sponsors fundraising events to support and/or fund our programs.
Charitable contributions are critical to the success of our fundraising efforts. The generosity of our donors allows us to use proceeds from our annual “Day at the Races event” and Fall Raffle to be allocated to community service projects, including our high school mentoring program, wellness workshops, donations to local food banks, and scholarships. Donations to The Pearls of the Ivy Foundation, Incorporated® are tax deductible. For information on ways to donate, click the donate button shown below.
Once again, thank you for expressing an interest in our website. We hope that you enjoy learning about our Foundation and will want to learn more about our desire to serve all mankind and work to improve the communities we love and serve.
Evelyn D. Canady,
Message from the Executive Director
Welcome to the Pearls of the Ivy Foundation online! Whether you are an existing supporter, a community partner, or you are interested in leading more about The Pearls of the Ivy Foundation, we hope that this website will help you lean about our mission and vision.
The 65 plus woman that make up the Pearls of the Ivy Foundation have been serving and are committed to promoting an enhanced quality of life throughout the Best Southwest Cities of North Texas and the entire Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
The philanthropic efforts implemented through this 501(c)(3) organization support:
- Higher education through the provision of scholarships to graduating seniors, donations to several local school district education foundations, and an annual gift to the UNCF
- Community programs and volunteerism provided by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Upsilon Lambda Omega Chapter
- Programs provided by an Alpha Kappa Alpha consortium of chapters from all over the DFW Metroplex who collaborate to provide necessary programs and services city-wide
- Monetary and in-kind donations as well as volunteer assistance to our fellow not-for-profit agencies and organizations that provide invaluable specialized services to the community
It is our hope that you would join our service efforts. You have taken the first step by visiting our site. We hope to consistently increase our monetary support of the aforementioned programs and services, making the support of sponsors and donors like you essential. We anxiously look forward to possibly partnering with you to ensure that our efforts increase as we move forward.
The Pearls of the Ivy Foundation is honored to serve the Best Southwest Cities of North Texas community. As the foundation enters her 7th year of service, we look forward to developing new partnerships, growing the next generation of community leaders, and creating a legacy of impact in North Texas—and beyond—that serves our community for decades to come. We invite you to partner with us in this mission!
Jenine D. McClaney, MBA
Launching New Dimensions of Service
Target I: Educational Enrichment
The sorority's signature program is ASCENDSM.
- ASCENDSM focuses on Achievement, Self-Awareness, Communication, Engagement, Networking, and Development Skills. Participants will include high school male and female students with emphasis on academic, life, career and character-building skills. The ultimate goal will be to motivate, engage and assist these students in reaching their maximum potential. The sorority will place additional emphasis on SMART careers (Science, Math, And Related Technologies).
- In keeping with an intense focus on promoting lifelong learning, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will provide substantial support to students through AKA One Million BackpacksSM. Through this initiative, the next four years will see members donating and distributing 1,000,000 backpacks and related school supplies to students worldwide.
- Support of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will be another priority, as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority launches a national Think HBCUSM campaign to highlight HBCUs and the contribution of their graduates to the sorority and society.
Target II: Health Promotion
Alpha Kappa Alpha will continue its strong health awareness focus through programs in three areas that disproportionately affect African Americans: Alzheimer's disease; stroke; and mental health and wellness.
- The Alzheimer’s disease and Caregiver SupportSM program will expand Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s community outreach and assistance by generating awareness and support for Alzheimer’s programming and research.
- In addition, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will launch a major stroke prevention awareness campaign with special emphasis on hypertension management, diet and exercise.
- And finally, mental health and wellness efforts will be highlighted as sorority members work to bring attention to mental illness among diverse populations with historically low utilization of mental health services.
Target III: Family Strengthening
- The sorority will focus on childhood hunger awareness initiatives and address the increasing number of households that do not have financial resources to adequately clothe their family.
- Through the Family Seasonal WrapsSM program, Alpha Kappa Alpha will spearhead a major effort to collect and donate hats, gloves, socks, scarves, coats, sweaters, and other items to families in need during the colder seasons.
- Lastly under this target, fiscal responsibility programs remain a key priority as Alpha Kappa Alpha members continue to offer financial management and home ownership programs to the communities that its chapters serve.
Target IV: Environmental Ownership
Alpha Kappa Alpha will display its commitment to providing healthy and safe environments.
- The AKA 1908 Playground ProjectSM will be launched to ensure children have safe and inviting places to play. Members will restore and renew 1,908 existing community and school playgrounds with its Restore, Refresh and Renew ProjectSM.
- Through its Acts Green ProgramSM members will promote environment sustainability by encouraging recycling, litter prevention and waste management through daily green efforts in local communities.
Target V: Global Impact
- Sorority members will implement the UNA/USA Global Classrooms Project to prepare today’s youth for an increasingly global and complex society. Alpha Kappa Alpha members will work with high school students (ASCEND program) in partnership with the UNA-USA (United Nations Association) staff to expand understanding of the United Nations, its mission and focus. And the sorority will re-engage with a long-standing partner - Africare - to launch youth-oriented programming on the continent of Africa.
- Another highlight of the Launching New Dimensions of Service program will be Community Service Days, when members will implement initiatives annually, on the same day, worldwide, to demonstrate Alpha Kappa Alpha's collective impact.
The Pearls of the Ivy Foundation’s primary service area includes the cities of Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville and Lancaster, TX. Per the 2000 Census, this area had a population of 132,000 with per capita income of $22,674 and median household income of $53,293. With a population consisting of 47% minorities, the Best Southwest Cities is one of the most demographically diverse regions in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex. Per a 2007 report issued by Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, 31.5% of children in Dallas County were growing up in single-parent families in 2005, a 49% increase from 1990.
The Foundation has supported, among others, the following organizations and agencies with monetary, in-kind and/or volunteer hour donations:
Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation
American Cancer Society
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Kidney Fund
Susan G. Komen
City of Lancaster
City of DeSoto
DeSoto Educational Foundation
Cedar Hill Food Pantry
Williamsburg Village Nursing Home
Genesis Women’s Shelter
St. Jude’s Ranch