MIDS 2022

It is with honor and excitement that we recognize Soror Carol de la Cruz as the 2021-22 Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter’s Soror of the Year!

Soror de la Cruz has served as Bloomington-Normal NAACP ACT-SO (Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) Chair since 2010 and Illinois State ACT-SO coordinator since 2019. ACT-SO is an academic enrichment and non-athletic competition program for high school students. Soror de la Cruz is committed to seeing local students have this opportunity to explore their talents and fulfill their potential, resulting in approximately 250 participants, 16 National medalists, and awards and scholarships totaling over $350,000. Her state leadership has led to sharing of best practices and the addition of ACT-SO programs in 2 communities.

Soror de la Cruz is a member of the Central Illinois Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, which provides “transformational programs to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities in Central Illinois.”

She served two terms as Recording Secretary and has been the Technology Chair for nine years. She has also served on the Budget and Finance, Fundraising, Strategic Planning, Services to Youth, and The Arts Facet Committees. She has also served on the Central Area Links Executive Board, Central Area Communications Team, and as the Area’s Technology Chair and Website Manager. From 2008, until the organization’s final year in 2012, Soror de la Cruz rolled up her sleeves as a member of Sisters & Friends of Bloomington, Illinois, a group of professional Black women devoted to increasing awareness of African American art and artists of the African Diaspora through fine art exhibitions and events.

Soror de la Cruz exemplifies the sorority mission of sisterhood and service both inside and outside of chapter activities. She has a positive, gentle spirit and extends grace to all sorors and people she works with in the community. She is quick to praise and encourage others, while being very humble herself. She especially demonstrates the virtues of Courtesy, Dedication, Fidelity, Honesty, Purity, and Temperance. She is professional in all she does, giving her best to every endeavor. I have the true pleasure of working with Soror de la Cruz as a member of the ACT-SO Steering Committee and Illinois State Co-Coordinator. When committee members are tired or frustrated, Soror de la Cruz kindly and gently brings out our better nature. Soror de la Cruz personally made sure that students from the Links PETALS program had an opportunity to participate in ACT-SO and travel to National Competition.

Soror de la Cruz is the consummate Delta, continually displaying our nine cardinal virtues: Compassion: She is generous with her time. She has developed important online forms to conduct chapter functions, including dues payments, candidate & scholarship applications, member profiles, vouchers, etc.

Courtesy is at the forefront of how she handles and provides input on sensitive matters, always balancing of decorum while coming to sound decisions in a respectful manner.

Dedication to Delta is evident in the many hats she wears as a leader AND providing technical services to BNAC and other organizations who vie for her time and expertise. She never puts a Delta task on hold nor compromises an effort as she attends to tasks in such a timely manner we refer to her as Soror “Wonder Woman”.

Fellowship with Soror de la Cruz is always a joy and delight as she is very engaging, courteous, and professional.
Fidelity is exemplified in her serving Delta in several key roles and developing solutions to many challenges.
Honesty: She is kindly forthright, ensuring the right thing (not the popular thing) is done.
Justice: Soror de la Cruz ensures all are treated in a fair and equitable manner.
Purity of character is among her crowning attributes. What she says and does can be trusted!
Temperance in her actions and emotions makes Soror Cruz a role model for seasoned and new Sorors. She delivers solid, useful, and reasonable solutions, even when some demand things in an inordinate time frame.

In addition to her chapter leadership roles, Soror de la Cruz regularly uses her technology skills to enhance BNAC’s web presence and chapter communications and has enabled us to utilize technology to present information during meetings, hold virtual meetings and virtual elections. She provides our tech support during meetings and trainings. She has created online forms for submission of officer/committee reports and other documents, which ensures that required information is provided, so we can best conduct Delta business. She trains sorors on Delta internet and technology use policies, and how to use our tools effectively. Likewise, in addition to serving as Bloomington-Normal ACT-SO Chair and the Illinois ACT-SO State Coordinator, she serves as webmaster, tech support and designs the annual souvenir booklet to highlight the students’ talents and potential. Soror de la Cruz has educated committee members on use of the Zoom virtual platform to deliver monthly ACT-SO Academic Enrichment sessions with local and nationwide guest speakers, local competitions and local awards ceremonies during the pandemic.

Soror de la Cruz leads in many ways. She is a role model of being an active member of Delta and other organizations and taking on leadership roles. In each role, she is fully engaged. holds effective meetings, keeps the “team” informed, encourages shared ideas/best practices, and leaves the organization better than she found it. She contributes her professional expertise at no cost, saving organizations from considerable vendor expense.

Soror de la Cruz is selfless. She does not seek attention or recognition but does all she can to make sure the efforts of others are recognized and appreciated. She provides the tools for other leaders to be successful. That has led to effective virtual meetings and events; attractive, well-organized and meaningful website content; online forms for the timely and orderly submission and documentation of information and chapter activity.

Soror de la Cruz is supportive. She promotes others to take leadership roles and encourages their success. When they are not meeting role expectations, she shows compassion for their many responsibilities and in a courteous manner helps them get refocused on meeting their goals.

In 2021, the Blooming-Normal NAACP presented Soror de la Cruz with their 2021 WIN September Woman of the Month Award for her outstanding achievements within the community, branch, and exemplary leadership of the ACT-SO youth enrichment program. She is the 2018 recipient of the Roy Wilkins Award, which recognizes “the ultimate achievement of service” to the Bloomington-Normal NAACP Branch. In March 2022, she was selected from all the 2021 WIN awardees to speak on the Women’s History/Awareness Month “Women Who Wear Crowns” program. In 2015, Soror de la Cruz received the Vernon Jarrett Award in appreciation for her dedication and work with the Bloomington-Normal ACT-SO program. She has chaired Bloomington-Normal ACT-SO for 12 years. Soror de la Cruz is steadfast in the belief expressed by ACT-SO founder, Vernon Jarrett, that “we must never write off the potential for greatness among any of our beleaguered youth. Never!”

Join us in congratulating Soror Carol de la Cruz on this well-deserved honor and recognition as the Bloomington-Normal Alumnae Chapter’s 2022-2023 Soror of the Year!

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