Dear Members of Psi Chi,
A challenge is defined as “something needing great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully, or the situation of facing this kind of effort” (Cambridge Dictionary, n.d.). Although we often see this word and instinctually assign it a negative connotation, without the challenges we’ve faced, we would not be the people we are today. We would not appreciate the things we have worked hard for, and we would not have the skills we developed through these challenges that allow us to continue to succeed.
The great thing about living in a social world is that we don’t have to face these challenges alone. Often, if you look around to the people, institutions, and organizations closest to you, you’ll find that they have helped you get through the hard times—be they social, financial, or emotional challenges. These people and entities are the ones deserving of your time and appreciation.
For me, Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, has not only been there to support me through my own challenges, but has also continued to assist me throughout my successes. Growing up in Arkansas, my access to psychology-affiliated events was limited due to location. Needless to say, with renowned and regional conferences cycling through locations in states such as Texas and New Mexico, travel to these areas became an expensive venture. Having recently graduated, I also no longer had access to the same financial resources afforded to me as a student. Thanks to the travel grants Psi Chi offered, however, I was able to defray some of the cost so that I was able to present my research at a conference, network with people in my field of interest, and build both my breadth of experience within a professional setting and my CV for the eventual graduate school applications.
But Psi Chi’s contribution to my undergraduate success did not stop there. My chapter of Psi Chi at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) also allowed me to meet some of the greatest people and aspiring psychologists that I could have hoped for. As officers, we were able to meet and organize biweekly events to engage our Psychology Department in both fun and educational activities that not only benefitted our organization, but also every student in our department. At UCA, Psi Chi was not an organization that only sought to support honors students—we aimed for our events to enrich the experience for all students who showed interest in pursuing a future in psychology. I feel honored to have gotten to be part of the leadership of such a great organization and even more blessed because of who I met through working with Psi Chi.
It is for these very reasons that I decided to participate in the Psi Chi Chapter Challenge this past spring. Having felt both social and financial support from Psi Chi, I found this Challenge a great venue for paying them back in kind. What better way to show my gratitude than to help raise money for an organization that invested in my future? Increasingly motivating to me was knowing where this money was going. Psi Chi was very clear that the money earned from the Chapter Challenge would be put toward awards, grants, and scholarships, and that a portion of each members’ contribution would go back to our local chapter. As I previously mentioned, I benefitted a great deal from the grants Psi Chi offered, thus I felt this challenge was a great way to literally pay them back for the money they gave me. Further, knowing that I would be leaving my local chapter to pursue my graduate career, the Chapter Challenge also gave me a way to pay back the great experience the UCA chapter of Psi Chi provided me during my undergraduate career.
CHAPTER CHAT: PSI CHI CHAPTER CHALLENGE
Each year, Psi Chi conducts the Chapter Challenge. Listen to the Chapter Challenge Spring 2019 Top Fundraiser Aisha Linnea Udochi share her experience.
View Video Full Screen
I am thoroughly excited today to encourage every Psi Chi member and chapter to participate in this upcoming Psi Chi Chapter Challenge. This semester, Psi Chi will also be partnering with the Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation to encourage each chapter to fundraise while spreading kindness within their communities. I believe that this addition to the Chapter Challenge is a great way to motivate members to actively involve themselves in the change they want to make in this world, enrich the lives of others within their communities, and still tangibly benefit from the experience (e.g., resumé builder, volunteer experience).
If you are hearing or reading this, you have probably already benefited from Psi Chi without knowing it. There are resources Psi Chi wants you to take advantage of, and whether you are a graduate student, undergraduate student, Psi Chi officer, or Psi Chi member, I want you to have the same positive experience I have had with Psi Chi. I hope that you make good use of the benefits Psi Chi offers. And, in the spirit of kindness, I hope that you will want to pay them back. Please consider participating in the Psi Chi Chapter Challenge to do this, as well as becoming more involved in your local chapter.
Thank you very much for your time.
Aisha Linnea Udochi
Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities