According to its national website, AKM is a general scholarship honor society open to junior, senior and graduate students in all academic areas.
Joseph Etienne, a graduating nursing student from Miami and chapter president, said being a member has given him the ability to see who he can become.
“The knowledge is power motto showed me that I can obtain more things if I just put my mind to it and dedicate the time,” Etienne said.
Etienne has served as president of the Kappa Iota Chapter of AKM for two years. He said the organization truly has grown.
“You’d be surprised as to who we have here at FAMU as far as leaders,” Etienne said.
He said he plans on staying humble, remaining active in the community and making sure more leaders are established, especially in his field of nursing.
Veronica Yon, an associate professor of English and AKM adviser, fought back tears as she presented a token of appreciation to Etienne for his leadership.
Cierra Newman, an AKM member and FAMU alumna, lit five candles during the occasion, which represented the five missions of character, scholarship, service, citizenship and leadership.
Inductees then raised their right hands while taking an oath to continue the organization’s legacy by carrying out the five missions.
Serginio Petit, a junior criminal justice student from Fort Lauderdale who was inducted, said he originally looked into joining the organization to add something with rich history to his résumé.
“It represents continued legacy,” Petit said.
Petit said he exemplifies what the organization stands for, especially in regard to character and morals. He said he mentors students, hoping to make a positive impact, and that he plans to associate with youth in different countries.
“I want to give back to the community wherever I am,” Petit said. “I want to be able to touch somebody’s life. If I can do that once a day, I’d be satisfied.”
Cierra Madison, a senior architecture student from Detroit and new inductee, said she was invited via email to join AKM and became more interested after learning more about the organization.
“I think scholarship is very important, and I personally believe it’s more than just a GPA,” Madison said. “It includes the way you carry and educate yourself throughout the rest of your life beyond school.”
She said the high expectations of members attracted her to the organization and that she plans to continue upholding those standards with her fellow members.