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Ivy Preparatory Academy Gwinnett is seeking  high-achieving scholars to join the Beta Club, an elite organization that exposes straight-A students to leadership training and college scholarships.

The Ivy Prep Academy Beta Club promotes scholarship, leadership, good character, and community service. Ivy scholars in grades 6-8 who have stellar behavior and a grade point average of at least a 3.5 are recommended by teachers to be considered for membership in the prestigious organization.

“Beta Club is important because it teaches girls to be articulate, to speak in front of groups, and to  advocate for themselves, especially when they are applying for things like internships and scholarships,” said Beta Club sponsor and English Language Arts teacher, Julie Carroll. The ELA teacher was a Beta Club member as a middle and high school student.

IPA Beta Club members in grades 7-8 travel to an annual state leadership conference each year that features motivational speakers and club competitions. Students attend seminars and compete in events that showcase their academic and artistic talents.

IPA’s Beta Club is a local chapter of National Beta Club, the country’s largest independent nonprofit youth organization. National Beta Club has been serving scholars for more than 80 years. It has more than 350,000 members nationwide.

Gwinnett’s Beta Club chapter made state education history twice. Last November, IPA Gwinnett scholar Selina Vazquez-Mendoza became the first public charter school student to be elected as state president of Georgia’s Beta Club. Her term ends in December. She will serve as a leader at the state conference.

“Over the summer, I went to leadership camp and we did a lot of activities,” she said. “It was really fun. I met a lot of people from other schools through this experience. It has given me a broader view of Beta Club. I am considering running for office in the organization when I get to high school.”

Gwinnett’s Beta Club also was the first club from a single-gender public charter school to win as a top contender in the Quiz Bowl at the state conference level. The team placed fourth at nationals in 2015 playing a Jeopardy-style Quiz Bowl game that tested their mastery of math, literature, social studies, and science.

This school year, Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood will also have a Beta Club chapter. Kirkwood’s Beta Club will be open to scholars in grades 3-8. “We will have a friendly rivalry with Gwinnett,” said Dr. LaShunda Hawkins, sponsor of irkwood’s Beta Club. “We have a lot of work to do.”

The officers for Gwinnett’s Beta Club are: Selina Vazquez-Mendoza, who is president; Kayla Slack, who is vice president; and Natalie Vega, secretary.

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