The Alpha Epsilon Phi Foundation supports the development of ethics, intellect, and leadership and enriches our members individually and our chapters collectively through scholarships, educational programming and lifetime giving opportunities.
Founded in 1959, the Alpha Epsilon Phi Foundation, Inc. has grown from a small philanthropic arm of the sorority into a dynamic, educationally focused philanthropic organization. Foundation directly supports the sorority by providing speakers at conventions and summer leadership seminars, educational programming and by sending members to Panhellenic and interfraternal conferences and training. Since its beginnings, Foundation has sponsored both graduate and undergraduate scholarships to assist our sisters as they pursue their education.
Alpha Epsilon Phi has two national philanthropies. Sharsheret is a national nonprofit organization of cancer survivors dedicated to addressing the unique challenges young women living with breast cancer deal with on a day to day basis. Elizabeth Glazer Pediatrics AIDS Foundation, our second national philanthropy, is one of the leading pediatric AIDS organizations. Elizabeth was a member of AEPhi Sigma Chapter, and while giving birth to her first child, she was transfused with blood that was infected with the AIDs virus, which she unknowingly passed along to her two children. The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing pediatric HIV infection and eliminating pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention, care, and treatment programs.
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation was adopted as one of AEPhi’s national philanthropies in 2000. The Foundation (www.pedaids.org) was founded in 1988 by AEPhi.
Alumna Elizabeth Meyer Glaser (Sigma Chapter, University of Wisconsin) and her two close friends AEPhi alumna Susie Bernstein Zeegen (Xi Chapter, University of Southern California) and Susan DeLaurentis, shortly after Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, discovered that she, along with their two children Ariel and Jake, were infected with the AIDS virus as a result of a blood transfusion.
The Foundation had one critical mission: to bring hope to children with AIDS. With little research being focused on the issue of pediatric AIDS, the three women sought to bring awareness and a possible cure to the innocent children around the world affected by HIV/AIDS.
Through the work of the Foundation and partnerships like the one with Alpha Epsilon Phi, research and knowledge have greatly increased. The number of children born with HIV is decreasing. The life expectancy of the children with HIV infection is increasing and they are getting to live healthier, happier lives. Though Elizabeth did lose her own battle with AIDS her spirit lives on through the efforts of the foundation. The foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars towards AIDS research in the 22 years since its inception.
AEPhi is proud to be able to support such a worthy cause through financial support of the Foundation and by raising awareness about pediatric AIDS. Chapters across the country hold events to both raise money for the Foundation and educate their campus communities about the unique issues facing young people living with HIV and AIDS.
Sharsheret (www.sharsheret.org) is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to addressing the unique challenges faced by young Jewish women living with breast cancer.
Sharsheret, Hebrew for "chain," was founded in 2001 by Rochelle Shoretz, a former law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Kappa Chapter, Cornell University), who recognized the need for a breast cancer organization that would provide culturally-sensitive support for Jewish women after her own diagnosis at age 28. Sharsheret's programs include Links, their one-on-one peer support network, education, outreach programs, the Sharsheret Booklet Series, quality of life programs and Sharsheret on Campus outreach to college and university students nationwide to raise awareness about breast health. Alpha Epsilon Phi was proud to add Sharsheret as an official philanthropy in 2008. Members of Alpha Epsilon Phi have supported Sharsheret's mission to support young Jewish women facing breast cancer by spreading the word, fundraising, creating teams for local walks, runs, and marathons for breast cancer, hosting local Sharsheret events and organizing health fairs.
Shana Kay was a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi’s pledge class of 2004 at University of Wisconsin. In the summer 2005, Shana contracted encephalitis, a rare inflammation of the brain caused by a virus. Unfortunately, Shana passed away on July 3, 2005 at the age of nineteen, but her legacy in Alpha Epsilon Phi lives on. Shana had just finished her freshmen year and was a communicative disorder major, aspiring to become a speech therapist.
Shana’s parents created the Shana Kay Memorial Foundation, in honor of their daughter, with two specific goals in mind: the Shana Kay Foundation strives to share Shana’s story and to provide scholarship to qualified and deserving students. Each year, the foundation gives out a scholarship in Shana’s name to a qualified student of Shana’s high school, Commack High School in Long Island, New York.
This scholarship is given with the hope of being able to help this student continue their education. Shana’s parents also made a donation to the communicative disorders department here at University of Wisconsin, which gives out an annual Shana Kay Scholarship to a worthy communicative disorders student.