By Brandon Smith, The Whetstone

Junior Maya Shuler was nervous. And scared. At the same time.

“I knew I had to put on my game face because they needed me,” she said.

Shuler was one of four women welcomed into the Zeta Phi Beta sorority on March 20.

Freshmen Kierra Whitaker, Sophomore Alena Brown, sophomore Nneka Anderson and Shuler heard the noise of the crowd behind the big glasses and scarves they partially hid behind. Then their faces were revealed to the audience.

The four new members took a different path toward joining.

“My friend Kierra convinced me to join,” Nneka Anderson said. “She didn’t want to do it by herself.”

Whitaker said she did research before joining.

“The different programs that they do interested me and also the bond they share,” she said.

Shuler said she has Greek in her family.

“I’ve been surrounded by blue and white my whole life,” she said. “I always witnessed the good fortune they have done.”

Shuler’s godmother is a Zeta, and her godfather and two godbrothers are brothers of Phi Beta Sigma – a Greek organization that share the same colors.

“It was a great experience,” Brown said. “It taught me how to be a finer woman and how to be brave and open up.”

Shuler said the process was easy.

“We had to memorize a lot of information and know it in our hearts and mean it,” she said. “What connected us all was that we wanted to be Zetas.”

The Zetas also contribute to the community.

“We have a highway project where we clean up the highway on a weekend,” Brown said.

Zeta Sorority also provides food and clothing to in Christiana hospital single mothers who cannot afford utilities.

Zetas also hold a bake sale and give all of the proceeds to the March of Dimes’ research into premature babies and young mothers.

“How you represent yourself is how you represent Zeta,” Brown said. “We are big on scholarship and womanhood. Education comes first and then being a woman.”

President Kaylynn Hall and member Kyndal Showell were part of the first group to be inducted into Zeta Phi Beta.

“My journey was life changing,” Hall said.  “Finally becoming a finer woman was one of the best days of my life. I was so proud of the day I was able to wear those letters across my chest.”

Showell said she shared experiences with the new inductees.

“Just giving them words of encouragement and sharing our stories of crossing helped them,” she said. “Basically sharing with them that they shouldn’t worry about what anyone says and to be themselves.”