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Now, He Intends to Pay It Forward

Left to right: Thomas Harmond (brother), Wilson Harmond, and Chandra Brandel (mother)

Photo taken by Boyd Langley

Wilson Harmond '18 considers himself “a mentor and source of encouragement” as a member of the cheerleading team. But life hasn’t always been so bright for Wilson. He’s had his share of challenges, even at his young age. Luckily, he’s had his Kappa Sigma brothers, who served as a strong support system.

He joined Kappa Sigma his freshman year, since he was from out of state and didn’t know anyone at Georgia Tech. What was simply a mechanism for getting to know people in a new environment turned out to be one of the best decisions of his life.

“Even through being Assistant Treasurer, Greek Week/Homecoming Chair, and Alumni Relations Chair, I never really figured out why this place was so special and important to me,” he says. “It took being suspended twice, failing to win a single elected position, and, finally, losing my grandmother—the woman who raised me—to really see what this organization was all about and what fraternity really meant. These guys have pushed me to never settle for average or okay. They picked me up when I felt like I'd fallen too far to save, and they have helped forge me into the man that I am today.”

The incredible value of his Kappa Sigma membership wasn’t always evident to Wilson, but it is now, and he’s not about to let it go.

These guys have pushed me to never settle for average or okay. They picked me up when I felt like I'd fallen too far to save, and they have helped forge me into the man that I am today.

“I'm proud to be a Kappa Sigma because these young men give me hope that the world isn't always as bleak and scary as the news would like to have it seem,” he says. “Here, I can be myself and grow academically, spiritually, and emotionally. I would love to come on as an Alumni Adviser after graduation, because I love coaching, encouraging, and bringing out the best in others.”

Some of the simplest moments with his brothers are his favorites.

“It seems boring—I think everyone in this chapter is 55 at heart—but my favorite memories have been in the TV room with everyone at lunch time,” he says. “As soon as the clock hits 11, we change to channel 46 and watch "The Price Is Right" hosted by (now skinny) Drew Carey. The laughs we have at the participants, the prizes, and the games are what make this place great. This is Georgia Tech—we’re all a bunch of nerds, so we calculate the probability of winning a prize on one of the games. The inside jokes that have been developed, laughed at, and run into the ground while watching this show will stick with me for years to come.”

Aside from his many memorable moments with his brothers, there’s another activity that helps define Wilson: his cheerleading career.

He joined the Georgia Tech cheerleading team in 2015, partially because of a Kappa Sigma connection.

“One of my pledge brothers, Philip Bale, joined Club Gymnastics at Georgia Tech and invited me to come along promising that I'd learned how to do a back flip,” Wilson says. “As any 18-year-old worth his salt would do, I said yes.”

Halfway through his sophomore year while still participating in gymnastics, Wilson met some members of the cheerleading team who invited him to a practice. Though he admits it was a struggle learning to stunt, it got easier as time went on. Now he considers himself a “mentor and source of encouragement” on the team.

“The hours are long and the sport is demanding,” he says, “so someone has to have the pep and spirit to cheer on the cheerleaders."

Wilson is a fourth year Industrial Engineering major. He plans to work in consulting while continuing his work with organizations like the Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta. He’s also considered going into the Air Force Reserve to continue his family's long military history.

So, despite some ups and downs, Wilson’s future is bright, in large part due to his profound experience with Kappa Sigma.

Has your life been impacted by Kappa Sigma? Did your years here give you lasting friendships, great memories, or skills for success? We’d love to document your story. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today to share your story.