Seeds of Prosperity
Sisters of Nia Program Helps Students
By Chaney Brooks
It was a cold, wet, dark, and gloomy evening on Nov. 12. Yet in a library conference room, an organization of Bowie State University students hosted a program full of spiritual prosperity and enlightenment.
The program, "Planting Seeds of Greatness" was hosted by Bowie State's Sisters of Nia. The organization was created to "provide young females with the tools necessary to reach their full potential as confident, responsible, intelligent and respectful young women of society." The eight executive board members, Chevonne James, president and Miss Bowie State 2009-2010; Rehaana Caldwell, co-vice president; Kandy Calliste, treasurer; Eliza Thornberry, activities coordinator; LaQuitta Fletcher, co-activities coordinator; Angel Grant, historian; Londyn Douglass, Miss Nia; and Desireé Sealey, public relations coordinator, organized the program to show the importance of the nurturing of one's spirit, which is the second part of the organization's theme this year "Defining the Finer Woman in You." Part one was "The Power of Forgiveness."
To jump start the program, Sisters of Nia invited Raymond Shorter, well known counselor and mentor of Bowie State University Counseling Services, as the opening guest speaker. Shorter gave words of enlightenment to the audience of both males and females, "In order to do successful things in life you must know who you are. The nature of your existence is knowing who you are spiritually. Your spirit is what keeps you alive."
After his talk, Shorter paired each audience member with another and both people were given a piece of paper with four questions: "Who am I spiritually? Why am I important? What is important for me in my life? How do I nurture my spiritual life?" Each person then was asked to give an answer to his or her partner within five minutes.
Although there was much conversation during the small group portion, when Shorter called everyone together and asked for a volunteer to answer "What is important for me in my life?" and "How do I nurture my spiritual life?" only few hands went up. One audience member said, "It used to be family and friends was all that was important but now it's still family and friends but there's so many more things too many things to put into that answer."
After more people began to share what was important to them in their lives, Shorter then asked the audience to link the planting of a seed to the four questions given on the piece of paper. "I believe the first question where it says ‘who am I spiritually' is the same as what is it that I am planting? And ‘how do I nurture my spiritual life?' that is the same as what am I using to ensure that this plant will grow? What does it need for it to grow?" Thornberry, the group's activities coordinator, said.
As Shorter closed his segment, James introduced Roberte Foster to close the last segment of the program in which students were given their own pots, soil, and soy beans to plant and water. Each student was asked to write what their plant meant to them in terms of their life and their goals so they could place it on the front of their pot and put it wherever they wished to watch it grow.
Though each audience member had professed a different purpose of their plant, everyone shared the sense of hope and the importance of what those plants meant to them.