In the Spring of 2017 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Paula Ngoc Tuyet Duong and Pajying Maggie Yang recognized a need for more opportunities for women to grow as leaders in a unified community. Throughout their college careers, both women had grown significantly as individual leaders, yet observed the disconnect between multicultural student organizations and the community. It was common for organizations to stay within their own groups and work on supporting their own respective interests. Specifically for Asian based organizations, unity seemed to be an unreachable goal. The ladies noticed how fragmented the APIDA community was and made the decision to act on it.
In addition, Ms. Duong and Ms. Yang recognized a lack of options for women, especially Asian women, to participate in a positive Greek life experience. Therefore, the interest group KORA (Kindness, Optimism, Resilience, Ambition) was founded to bring together aspiring women of different backgrounds and experiences and provide them with the platform of participating in the Multicultural Greek community. It was KORA’s goal to create new narratives about the Greek community and break stereotypes associated with students of color and women through promoting positive dialogue and social change. KORA would unify the Asian community by setting a meritable example.
In the Fall of 2017, Jennifer Her, Hoang-Anh Maica Ho, Rose Pa Ying Lee, Connie Xiong, Rena Liu, Anna Nguyen, Kashia Yang, and Kacie Luo joined KORA to solidify the interest group at ten members. These new members were mostly underclassman who sought out a home away from home on campus, and KORA soon became that family that supported each member and challenged them to be a better person every day.
Together, the 10 members embarked on their journey and faced many challenges to be recognized by their campus. However, they persevered, and with the support of friends and family, KORA earned recognition from the Multicultural Greek Council on February 28, 2018.
Fueled by their ambition, passion and the bonds built between each other, the ten women continued the expedition to bring another Asian-Interest Sorority onto their campus. Through countless hours of hard work, dedication and the guidance of Mai Ngoc Thi Nguyen and Vi Thuy Pham, the Transcendent Ten established the 20th Chapter of Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. on April 22nd, 2018.