Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2022 @ 1:58 PM
by Meghan Kalenborn
Throughout the five councils that make up the University of Central Florida’s Fraternity and Sorority Life Community, there are numerous opportunities to get involved and build leadership skills. Madison Smith, a member of Panhellenic Council’s Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority at UCF, is the recipient of the UCF Panhellenic Empowerment Endowed Scholarship. While being involved in her own chapter, she has also taken advantage of the other leadership opportunities that Fraternity and Sorority life has to offer, like being Greek Council President. Madison shared her experience on being part of the FSL community and how it has enhanced her time being a student at UCF.
What does receiving this scholarship mean to you?
“For me, it is rewarding to see hard work & time paying off. I am also a first-generation student and have to handle my own expenses for college. This really helps me in that area, so I can have some financial stress lifted.”
Why do you believe everyone should consider joining a fraternal organization?
“Students should consider joining because people don’t only need a group or a place to do community service, people need people. I didn’t just get a house or some stickers to put on my laptop, I got a group of women who share the same values as me and women who are there to hold me accountable to those values throughout my entire life. It’s not just for four years, it’s for life. AEPhi gives me a bond to my sisters here at UCF but I also have a bond with countless alumni all over the world.”
How has your organization impacted you?
“My organization has made me a better person. A better leader, student, daughter, mentor; you name it. There are so many opportunities on campus I would not have even considered applying for until I was encouraged by a sister. As a sophomore I became Greek Council President who oversees every council of Fraternity and Sorority Life. I would never have filled out this application without the encouragement from my sisters. I never saw myself as someone who could make such an impact on someone else’s life until I met my little sister. AEPhi has brought me so many new experiences as well as lifelong friends to share them with along the way.”
What is a common myth in fraternity and sorority life that you believe is far from the truth and why?
“Everyone in fraternity and sorority life is financially privileged. This could not be further from the truth. I am a first-generation student who pays their own dues. I know many other Greeks with similar stories and organizations are more than willing to help them out. Not everyone who is Greek has a parent that is Greek. They may be like me who don’t even have a parent who graduated from college. I wasn’t someone who dreamed of being in the same sorority that my mom was in as I was growing up. I didn’t even know what a sorority was until I was going to college! The FSL community isn’t full of the close-minded, “live off your parents” type people that others assume make up the population. It is full of people looking for opportunity and striving for change.”