The Delta G.E.M.S. (Growing and Empowering My self Successfully), formerly known as the Delta Teen Challenge Program began in October 1991. The Delta GEMS was created to catch the dreams of African American at-risk, adolescent girls aged 14-18. Delta GEMS provides the frame work to actualize those dreams through the performance of specific tasks that develop a CAN DO attitude. The goals for Delta GEMS are:
To instill the need to excel academically;
To provide tools that enable girls to sharpen and enhance their skills to achieve high levels of academic success;
To assist girls in proper goal setting and planning for their futures high school and beyond; and
To create compassionate, caring, and community minded young women by actively involving them in service learning and community service opportunities.
The Delta GEMS framework is composed of five major components (Scholarship, Sisterhood, Show Me the Money, Service, and Infinitely Complete), forming a road map for college and career planning. Topics within the five major components are designed to provide interactive lessons and activities that provide opportunities for self-reflection and individual growth.
The impact that the Delta GEMS Program has on the community is strong and very profound because it enriches the participants lives. Through various workshops, activities, and trips, the young ladies are exposed to many facets of life in an effort to invoke positive thinking and preparation tools for life beyond high school. The breakdown of the ideals as outlined by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority allows the young ladies to discover and develop into their full potential. It focuses on relationship building between sponsors and teen-agers, as well as among students from different high schools in the area. The program serves as a building block to transforming the participants into independent, self-contained individuals who are ready to face societal challenges in and beyond high school.