Strong Sister, Silly Sister motivated female students to achieve academic success Friday night at the Black Cultural Center.

Seventy black female students spanning all grade levels and majors from across Purdue attended Strong Sister, Silly Sister this year. This student-driven event encouraged the free flow of thought through mediums including skits, poetry, group discussions and student reflections of college life at Purdue.

Strong Sister, Silly Sister engaged with the audience through a segment entitled “Miss Anonymous.” Simone May, a junior in the College of Science and co-coordinator of the event, read short anonymous messages written by members of the audience relating when they acted silly in their lives. Stories involved reflections of poor decisions made around friends which led to jealousy, troublesome relationships or poor performance in school.

A fashion show tested women’s clothing choices against outside influences including friends, television programs and advertising. Paris Lipsey, a senior in the College of Health and Human Sciences, led the show, in which ladies demonstrated both appropriate and inappropriate ways of dressing for various situations by walking an imaginary catwalk around the outside of the auditorium.

Ladies demonstrated appropriate clothing for class by dressing with a backpack and casual clothes. Other ladies demonstrated garment arrangements that were too revealing or clothes that were so uncomfortable or clumsy that they were not practical to wear. Sweatpants, slippers and pajama bottoms should never be worn to class.

“Look appropriate. When you look good, you feel good,” said Lipsey.

Danielle Render, a student in the College of Engineering and coordinator of Friday’s event, said Strong Sister, Silly Sister presents academic scholarships to outstanding young ladies at Purdue each year.

Applications for academic scholarships are available each June for all female students. This year, $500 was awarded to Chantel Wilson, a sophomore in the Polytechnic Institute.

Strong Sister, Silly Sister also provides mentorship to young ladies of Purdue. The mentoring program was started one year ago and provides help for female students across all majors.

“A lot of the women that are already in corporate America are going to provide a lot of opportunities for a lot of the young ladies on campus to receive mentors,” said Render.

Strong Sister, Silly Sister also helps Purdue students cope with college stress. To combat stress, the organization suggested guidelines for relieving stress through talking with someone about hardships, practicing meditation, having a healthy diet and knowing their own limits.

Students were encouraged to have fun in a safe way. Ladies in attendance were educated how to avoid being taken advantage of by others by acting responsibly with drugs, following the law and avoiding friends who engage in dangerous behavior.

“Be positive, stay positive (and) be safe. Always stay positive. Look at the brighter picture,” said Lipsey.

Jasmine Edison, a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts, said the biggest accomplishment of Friday’s meeting was uniting women of Purdue’s black community together as sisters.

“We have this whole support system of black sisters on Purdue’s campus, and we should really take advantage of that and build each other up,” said Edison.

Since it was founded in 2004, Strong Sister, Silly Sister’s mission has been to provide first-year collegiate young ladies interactive educational information, networking opportunities and motivation to achieve success by embracing ethical behaviors. They meet once per year during the first week of school during the fall semester. The event was sponsored by the Black Cultural Center.

To learn more about Strong Sister, Silly Sister Inc., visit the organization’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. It may also be contacted through email at

@PurdueBCC1969 program unites women in Purdue community.

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