Yarleny Mejia was named ‘President of the Year’ by the Monmouth University Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Office of Student Activities on April 21, 2021.
Each year these offices collaborate on and announce an application process for student organizations to apply for awards. Once the application process closes, both departments discuss the nominees and decide who will win each award.
Tara Fuller and Tara Droste serve as the Director and Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life respectively. In a statement on behalf of both Fuller and Droste, they explained that Mejia received this award due to her commitment to the advancement of the entire fraternity and sorority life community.
They said that her dedication to the community is evident through her various leadership roles. “She was an executive board member of our Multicultural Greek Council for the 2020-2021 academic year in addition to her responsibilities as President of her sorority, Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc.”
The Directors said that Mejia is also active outside of the Greek community, serving as the Secretary for the Latin Student Organization, and a general member of the Public Relations Student Society of America.
The Directors said, “She does so much to develop herself while also putting together programs and events for the organizations she is a part of. Yarleny is a supportive, caring, and dedicated student and we feel so fortunate to have her a part of our community.”
Claude Taylor serves as the chapter advisor for the Gamma Beta chapter of Chi Upsilon Sigma. He further described Mejia’s leadership style as that of a servant-leader. He said, “A servant-leader style focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong.”
Taylor said that Mejia best demonstrates this quality in the way that she focuses on elevating the student experience of those within her organization, as well as the “concentrated effort to promote service to community and others in need.”
Paola Reyes is a senior nursing student who has been a member of Chi Upsilon Sigma since 2020. She echoed Taylor’s feelings, saying that Mejia has not only been a leader for members of Chi Upsilon Sigma but an amazing friend.
She said, “Any obstacles that sisters encounter, related to our organization or not, Yarleny has always been there for all of us.”
As for Mejia, she said she felt proud of herself when she received the award. “When you’re in a leadership position you rarely hear any positive feedback from people, and I proved to myself that I’m a hard worker and that I don’t have to rely on what other people think to know that I’m amazing and I’m enough.”
Mejia joined Chi Upsilon Sigma in the Spring of 2019 and said that at the time she was shy, reserved, and suffered from severe anxiety. “After becoming a sister of CUS, I broke out of my shell and took on leadership roles such as Chapter President.”
Through these experiences, Mejia was able to grow more empathetic, improve her communication skills and improve her mental health. She learned how to better value herself as a woman and ask for help when she needed it.
Mejia explained that the most rewarding part of holding a leadership position within her organization is having the ability to serve as a resource for other sisters, students, and even the University’s faculty and staff.
“I love helping others on whatever the situation may be…Being in a leadership position has allowed me to wear many different hats, such as helping others with academic advice, sharing information on job opportunities and community service, or simply being present for those who need someone to talk to.”
For Mejia, this experience has allowed her to do what she feels she was born to do: to help and serve her community.
Reyes explained that Mejia demonstrates this passion by promoting Greek unity throughout her term as president. “In her efforts to support the FSL community, she attended several events from different organizations and has helped other FSL leaders solve problems,” she said.
Reyes explained that additionally, Mejia has also shared many creative ideas with the community in an attempt to get everyone involved. These ideas include various Zoom events and Live with Gamma Beta episodes hosted on Instagram TV.
Clearly, Mejia is a leader that does not just talk the talk but walks the walk, being a leader and friend for the entire Monmouth community to rely on. For more information on Chi Upsilon Sigma, check out their Instagram, @cus_gammabeta!