I Found My Purpose in ADPi

October 9th, 2018
Filed Under: Alumnae News | Jobs and Internships | Philanthropy

by Lauren Stimmell Flores, Zeta Epsilon – University of West Florida

My name is Lauren Stimmell Flores, and I came home to Alpha Delta Pi at Zeta Epsilon chapter at the University of West Florida. My ADPi journey began in Fall of 2009. I had no idea what I was getting myself into…I asked the same questions most of us were asking at the time (even though many of my sisters won’t admit it). Are they going to like me? Will I fit in? Will I stay? Am I looking at my new best friend in this crowd? Will I say or do something to totally embarrass myself? On that first day, I have to admit, I was not too keen to run headlong into the unknown, and not just because it was almost 100 degrees that day! Nevertheless, I ran, I hugged, laughed and smiled through Bid Day, and gained a family that one could only dream of.

Throughout my four years with ADPi, along with the family I gained, I found purpose which turned out to be our philanthropy, the Ronald McDonald House Charities. I would be lying if I told you I knew exactly when, but at some point, during the countless hours my sisters and I spent volunteering at the house, I fell in love. I fell in love with everything they stood for and did, the mission, the compassion, and most importantly, the families. Once I was hooked, I knew that I belonged, which is why I decided to apply for an internship my senior year.

I accepted an internship to work for the Event Manager and Coordinator, who was responsible for all house run and third-party charity events responsible for raising $250,000 of the $1.2 million annual goal of the house. Needless to say, this was a trial by fire. Although there were many days (there are still some too) where I felt like I was in over my head, what truly kept me above water were my experiences with my sisters. Whether I drew from my time planning and prepping for the annual inter-sorority lip sync competition, planning and executing recruitment, or being on Panhellenic council, I had a foundation that prepared me for anything. It was a fantastic year interning at the house. I can’t explain how much I learned and grew, which I think, in turn, helped me and other senior leadership take Zeta Epsilon to even greater heights.

After graduation and the long-dreaded good-byes to so many now lifelong friends, I embarked on the daunting trip to adulthood. I was now a full-time Event Manager at the Ronald McDonald House, and I’m still not sure if I was more nervous on that first day of recruitment or then, starting my first big girl job. All I know is that just like I did with my internship, I relied on the lessons learned while with Zeta Epsilon – lessons in working with different personalities, sharing common goals, delegating responsibility, and a BIG one as an event manager for a non-profit – fundraising on a budget.

Even if I had 1,851 years, I could never fully explain how much the experiences, people, and memories of my time in ADPi mean to me. I am the woman who I am today because of all of them. I am a stronger, more confident person with a boat load of extraordinary women who I am lucky enough to not just call my friends, but my sisters.

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