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Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Debuts ‘Stroll the Runway’ Event in St. Croix to Boost Local Community

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For close to fifty years, the renowned Mu Gamma Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® has been an influential pillar in the St. Croix community, passionately advocating for economic prosperity and various community endeavors. In honor of their steadfast dedication, the chapter unveils its premier “Stroll the Runway: A Cultural Affair Fashion Show and Silent Auction” this year. Slated for September 17 at 4:00 p.m., this anticipated event will be held at the Sidney Lee Theatre in the Island Centre, with the partnership of Starlight Promotions.

In line with the Sorority’s wider “Call to Action,” the Mu Gamma Omega chapter has, over the years, generously endowed college scholarships via their distinctive debutante ball cotillion. Demonstrating adaptability and evolving with the needs of the community, the chapter is introducing innovative programs. Notable among these are weekend meal distributions for underserved students and a novel after-school leadership development initiative. The primary objective of the fundraiser is to bolster these endeavors while also spotlighting local entrepreneurs, thereby promoting economic fortitude.

The fashion gala will see participation from a myriad of local fashion virtuosos and retail stores. This curated list includes Wilda’s Crochet Boutique, Juicy Juice Apparels/Too Much Juice, Strictly The Best Clothing, and more; including My Girlfriend’s Closet spanning both St. Croix and St. Thomas, Angela Designs, Made To Love, Lady C Designs, and the Lady of Croix Boutique. Moreover, VibezNatural Products will make its presence felt as a noted vendor.

The silent auction promises attendees an array of alluring experiences and products. Prospective bidders have the chance to compete for a coveted day-trip courtesy of Salt River Bay Kayak, an exclusive dinner date with the distinguished Taste of St. Croix awardee, Chef Ozzie, and a comprehensive makeover and personal styling consultation orchestrated by STYLED by Jason Gardener. On offer will also be a selection of exquisite jewelry and accessories.

An ensemble of local talent promises to keep attendees entertained throughout. This includes mesmerizing performances by BugZBugs, the enigmatic Guardians of Culture Moko Jumbies, the rhythmic Kaiso dancers, and the energetic Infamis of Syndicate Sounds. To quench thirst and satiate hunger, refreshments will be available on-site. Interested individuals can secure tickets from designated points like Thomas Bakery Inc., Castle Coakley, or directly from Mu Gamma Omega chapter representatives.

The net proceeds from this gathering are earmarked for reinforcing scholarship drives and amplifying other community-centric initiatives in St. Croix. This resonates with the chapter’s unwavering commitment to catalyze both social and economic upliftment within the community.

As a refresher, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® stands as a globally recognized service consortium, originating in 1908 from the grounds of Howard University. With an impressive roster of nearly 300,000 members globally, the fraternity has remained at the forefront of societal transformation and benevolent service. For a deeper dive into the commendable work and vision of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, a visit to www.aka1908.com is recommended.

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USVI Community Pulse

St. Croix Central High School Shifts to Online Learning Due to Severe Weather

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Following unexpected heavy rainfall that led to the premature closure of its campus on Monday, St. Croix Central High School has promptly adapted by moving to virtual learning for Tuesday, as announced by the V.I. Department of Education.

The decision came after students were released from school earlier than scheduled, a move necessitated by the rain’s significant impact on the infrastructure and daily operations of the school. This proactive transition to digital classrooms ensures that education remains uninterrupted, allowing students to connect with their educators via Teams during their usual school hours. Coursework and assignments will be managed and submitted using Teams alongside Schoology, ensuring a seamless continuation of the academic program.

The Department of Education is actively addressing the situation by conducting thorough cleaning and evaluations to make certain the school environment is secure and conducive for the return of its students and faculty. The goal is to welcome back the school community for in-person learning by Wednesday.

It’s important to note that this weather-induced adjustment is isolated to Central High School, with all other institutions within the district operating as per their standard schedule, unaffected by the recent climatic challenges.

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Unlocking $75 Million for Business Resilience: A Call to Action

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The Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA) has unveiled an extraordinary opportunity for local enterprises with the launch of its Commercial Hardening and Financing, alongside the Small Business Mitigation programs. These initiatives, bolstered by a generous $75 million from the Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) Action Plan, are specifically designed to fortify businesses against the adverse effects of natural and human-made disasters.

A sum of $40 million is earmarked for the Commercial Hardening and Financing Program, with an additional $35 million allocated for Small Business Mitigation efforts. These funds aim to minimize operational interruptions and enhance resilience among the business community in the face of unforeseen challenges.

Dayna Clendinen, the Interim Executive Director and Chief Disaster Recovery Officer at VIHFA, strongly advocates for prospective applicants to partake in the forthcoming workshops. These sessions are crucial, offering vital technical support and guidance throughout the application journey.

The schedule for these informative workshops is as follows:

  • St. Thomas: Monday, March 4, at 6 p.m., located at the UVI Innovation Center in the SBDC Training Room.
  • St. John: Tuesday, March 5, at 6 p.m., hosted at the Julius E. Sprauve School Cafeteria.
  • St. Croix: Friday, March 8, at 6 p.m., taking place at the Sunny Isle Shopping Center in the Elections Office.

In addition to in-person gatherings, VIHFA will host two online townhall meetings for broader accessibility. These virtual engagements are slated for Wednesday, February 28, and Wednesday, March 6, both commencing at 6:00 p.m. AST. Pre-registration for these events is mandatory, with details available through VIHFA’s provided links.

For those ready to seize this opportunity, applications for the CDBG-MIT Economic Resilience and Revitalization Program are accessible online. Whitney George, the Management Assistant, is available for inquiries or assistance regarding paper applications or the application process at (340) 772-4432 Ext:3248, or through email at [email protected] or [email protected].

The application deadline is set for April 5, 2024, at 11:59 PM. This timeline offers businesses a substantial window to apply for this pivotal funding, a step forward in ensuring their growth and sustainability amidst challenges.

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UVI Gears Up to Host David Roberts for Prestigious 13D Business Leadership Lecture

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The University of the Virgin Islands is setting the stage for the much-anticipated 2nd Annual 13D Business Leadership Lecture, which will be held at the UVI 13D Research and Strategy Innovation Center. The event, taking place on Monday, March 11, at 6 p.m., will spotlight David Roberts, a distinguished figure in the realms of singularity and innovation.

Renowned for his expertise in disruptive technology and exponential leadership, Roberts brings a wealth of knowledge from his tenure as a faculty member at Singularity University. His dedication to harnessing technological advancements for global betterment has made him a pivotal figure in shaping future leaders and innovators.

Dr. Pamela Moolenaar-Wirsiy, the Dean of Innovation and Student Success and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at UVI, shared her excitement for the lecture. “Hosting the second annual 13D Business Leadership Lecture underscores our commitment to fostering an environment of groundbreaking ideas and innovation,” she stated. The event is designed to spark revolutionary thinking and aligns perfectly with the visionary objectives of the 13D Innovation Center.

With a rich background that includes leadership roles in Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program and an academic foundation from Harvard Business School and M.I.T., Roberts is uniquely positioned to guide discussions on artificial intelligence, bio-computer engineering, and the future of technology. His ventures have attracted significant investment from industry giants, including Kleiner Perkins and Vinod Khosla, highlighting his impact on the entrepreneurial landscape.

The lecture is open to the entire community, inviting local leaders, business professionals, and students to engage in a dialogue that promises to reshape perspectives and inspire innovative solutions for the challenges of tomorrow.

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