The Upsilon Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated kicked off their 2017 signature program, A.S.C.E.N.D., by taking 8 program participants to see the critically acclaimed movie, Hidden Figures. Hidden Figures tells the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson – brilliant African-American female mathematicians who began working for NASA in the 1950s and charted the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit during the Space Race from Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Before laptops referred to our present-day technological devices, these women, who did the math by hand, were known as “computers.”
All three women are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson are now deceased. The film’s most powerful character, Katherine Goble Johnson, is known particularly for her calculations of the trajectory for Alan Shepard’s 1961 flight into space and is credited for verifying the calculations for John Glenn’s 1962 launch into orbit and the 1969 Apollo trajectory to the moon. At age 98, she is currently an active member of the Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in Newport News, Va.
The A.S.C.E.N.D. program is designed to motivate, engage, and assist students in reaching their maximum potential. The A.S.C.E.N.D. program focuses on Achievement, Self-Awareness, Communication, Engagement, Networking and Developmental Skills. Students have the opportunity to receive academic enrichment and life skills training to support their journey to college or vocational employment. Furthermore, students are exposed to civic engagement, cultural activities, STEM activities, global issues, and develop study skills and test taking skills that will prepare them for the PSAT, SAT or ACT. Students are also engaged in discussions regarding college and career exploration with professionals who currently work within their chosen industry.
Applications for the A.S.C.E.N.D. program are still being accepted. If you know a high school student that is interested in participating, please contact the program chairman Ms. Shaquite Pegues at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Upsilon Sigma Omega Chapter’s Facebook page at http://fb.me/aka29512 for more information. The next meeting of the A.S.C.E.N.D. program will be held on February 11th.