IRAA blog, Illinois Regional Alumni Association

Illinois Alumni Association Regional Blog

All the latest information, news and stories to inspire and inform the Illinois alumni members

The Golden Opportunity Scholarship Challenge even after having been a member of this wonderful organization for almost 26 years I guess I shouldn't be surprised at anything. Especially when a fellow member asks me to do something that I've never done before...and that is write a "blog".

I guess one of the toughest parts of this assignment was coming up with a topic since one wasn't assigned to me and I was given free range. Give me a topic and I'll easily talk for 20 minutes on it. Don't give me one and I'll spend 20 days trying to pick the topic.

In making my decision I decided to combine both an older and newer topic within Phi Theta Kappa. The older being, "The importance of membership..." and the newer being, "The Golden Opportunity Scholarship Fund".

Each year thousands of students who are eligible and invited to join PTK don't because they simply cannot financially afford to. On the international level, lifetime dues are $60 and quite often chapters and regions have additional lifetime fees. I truly feel that these fees are justified as there are indeed many costs involved with running such an organization. However, for many invited students $60+ is simply not an option. Not that they don't think it's worth's just not in the checkbook.

That's why a few years ago our international headquarters started The Golden Opportunity Scholarship Fund. This is a fund that people (or organizations) can donate to in an effort to cover the international lifetime dues for an invited student that otherwise wouldn't be able to afford to join. Advisors can nominate such students and if approved, they are then granted membership.

Being an overly analytical person, I look at my involvement in PTK in many ways. One way is that, if memory serves, the international dues when I joined was $45. You spread that out over the 26 years I've been a member and you're not even talking $1.75/year. The things I've learned, the things I've accomplished, the friendships I've made, the places I've been, etc...for that price? Simply amazing.

As a monthly donor to The Golden Opportunity Scholarship Fund, I also over analyze it. With international dues being $60...a person can sponsor 1 new member a year for just $5/month. With the finances being taking care of by a 3rd party, which has to charge a processing charge and pass along the credit card fees, a person can be extra generous and donate an extra $0.25/month, for a total of $5.25/month, so that our headquarters gets the whole $5/month...which adds up to the whole $60/year. Which again equals 1 new member that normally couldn't join.

And still I keep analyzing. $5.25/month. What's that these days? One less trip through the drive-thru? One or two less drinks during an evening out? The difference between ordering and not ordering dessert?

Now I ask all of you to do some analyzing. Think about your PTK experiences. The friends. The memories. What you've learned and how you've developed as a person. And think about what your life would be like without all of that...especially if it had only been $60 separating you from it all.

One of my goals this year is to get as many people as I can to donate just $5.00 (or hopefully $5.25) per month to help another person have the chance and the experiences I've had. One can, of course, give more and sponsor more than 1 member a year. The donation page is easy to navigate and you can even set it up so that your donation automatically happens each month.

$5.00 ($5.25) may not seem like much...but it can be the difference for one potential member wanting to open the doors to a world of opportunities.

Click Here to Donate
(Please be sure to choose The Golden Opportunity Scholarship Fund from the drop down menu...)

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.


Kevin R. Braden
1994-95 Phi Theta Kappa IP/O
Treasurer - Illinois Region Alumni Association

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