Shawnee State University (SSU) alumni and former AHANA President Drew Carter, recently donated $600 to the organization.
AHANA is a student club that celebrates cultural diversity, the acronym stands for African, Hispanic, Asian and Native American. Though, they accept members of all backgrounds and cultures.
Carter reconnected with the group in February at Portsmouth Junior High School’s Black History month day. Carter himself used to be an active member of the organization and graduated from SSU in 2007. He says he was thrilled to see that the group was still going strong and out volunteering in the community.
“Being a part of AHANA was a great learning experience during my years at Shawnee State University. As President for two consecutive years it helped me build leadership skills. AHANA was inactive for many years before we applied to re-start the organization back in 2005 with the help of George Gambill, Vanessa Jordan, and Emily Curtis, Monica Able and many others,” explained Carter. “We took an inactive club and made it the largest student club at the time with 45 members. We were blessed at the time to have the late-great Matt Matthews as our advisor. Not only was he a great role model, but he was a simply a great human being, he was like a father to me and many of the students.”
Today, AHANA has 30 active members and the group hosts many events and puts in hundreds of hours volunteering in different capacities throughout the community. Each year, the organization sponsors a fashion and talent show along with numerous other events, they have also sponsored a leadership and diversity symposium for the past two years.
Each club is allocated a certain amount of funds through the University, but a majority of the fundraising falls upon the club and it’s members.
“These clubs and organizations have a hard time sponsoring events due to low funds, I remember the days of trying to raise money to buy t-shirts for organization members and trying to find gas money for trips to volunteer so it’s only right that I practice the golden rule and do for others what I wanted for myself, that’s why I decided to donate this money to help the organization have a better start this upcoming year,” said Carter.
Current Co-Presidents Melvin Lawson and Paul Harris are grateful for Carter’s donation and already have plans to put the money to good use.
“We host the annual talent and fashion shows, so we’re hoping to use the proceeds to better our events as well as creating new activities,” said Lawson.
For more information about AHANA and their mission and upcoming activities, you can visit www.shawnee.edu/offices/student-life/diversity-inclusion or by searching AHANA African, Hispanic, Asian, Native Americans on Facebook.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.