Frankie Carson is the Vice President of Philanthropy for Pi Beta Phi at the West Virginia Alpha Chapter. Carson discusses her role as VPP and what she does and what the whole chapter does for Read>Lead>Achieve, the foundation that all of Pi Phi’s philanthropic service goes to. Their goal is to inspire not only kids but adults about the importance of literacy.
HC: Introduce yourself! (name, major hometown, etc)
FC: My name is Frankie Carson and I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. I’m a sophomore here at West Virginia University who’s studying social work with a minor in sociology and addiction studies, and I’m the vice president of philanthropy in Pi Beta Phi.
HC: What do you do as the Vice President of Philanthropy for Pi Beta Phi?
FC: As the VPP, I oversee any type of service and/or philanthropic events within the sorority. So I put on two events, one each semester to raise money and invite the Greek community to come and participate in a fun event to raise awareness of illiteracy. All of the money we raise goes to our Pi Beta Phi foundation for our program Read>Lead>Achieve. I also make sure the girls are doing community service regularly for both semesters, we require each member to have at least eight service hours and I myself encourage them to do more to help out the community.
HC: What made you want to get involved in this role?
FC: The former VPP, Hope Garcia-Chavez, is one of my good friends and I always participated in her events and tried to help her with the workload when I could. She was very enthusiastic about philanthropy, and when I did not get the exec position I originally wanted, she encouraged me to take this position and make it mine. For my major, it is required to have service hours and to go out into the community, so my interest was already there, now I was able to plan my own events for raising money. I didn’t realize how much I liked this role until I started doing it.
HC: What is Pi Beta Phi’s Philanthropy?
FC: As I briefly stated before, Read>Lead>Achieve is our primary philanthropy. All the money we make during our events goes to the Pi Beta Phi Foundation, which then gets put into literacy initiatives around the country, including Canada. Pi Phi’s believe in the power of reading and spreading awareness about what not being able to read can actually do to children. As a child, not gaining critical reading skills can affect their education, which ultimately affects their whole adult life moving forward. So Pi Phi’s are trying to impact the lives of children, one book at a time.
HC: April 10th was National Encourage a Young Writer Day, are there any similarities between this day and your sororities philanthropy?
FC: For sure, I mean can you write without learning how to read? No, you have to be able to read what you are writing and it goes hand-in-hand with the things we advocate for. I think people take for granted how much reading does for someone on a daily basis. People read nutrition labels, care product labels, prescription labels, street signs– you get the point. Without reading, young writers would not have the opportunity to write!
HC: Anything else you would like to add?
FC: Horns down, don’t be afraid to be philanthropic! You never know who you’ll meet for networking in the future.