Delta Distinguished Gentlemen: ‘Encouraging our Sons to Greater Manhood’

The Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. recently presented 14 of Pine Bluff’s outstanding and distinguished young men during its 27th annual Red and White Delta Distinguished Gentlemen’s Banquet.

With the theme, “The Uncompromising Commitment to Encouraging Our Sons to Greater Manhood,” the event was held at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Charlene Kelley, president of the Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter of DST, welcomed guests to the event and commended the young men on their many accomplishments. She also thanked the parents and many supporters who worked together to make the event a success.

Christopher Gragg, who just completed his rookie season as a tight end with the Buffalo Bills, served as the keynote speaker for the event. Gragg encouraged the young men to rise to the challenges they may face.

Having made the highest financial contribution to the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Scholarship Fund, Kenneth Avery Jr., son of Kenneth and Cheryl Avery, was crowned Mr. Distinguished Delta Gentleman 2014. Kenneth is a student at Stuttgart High School. His date was Tiffany Gibson, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Thomas Gibson.

Rodney Seals, son of Kymara Seals and Rodney Seals, was first runner-up. He is a student at Pine Bluff High School and his date was Chelsea Jackson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Jackson.

The second runner-up was Reginald Howard Jr., son of Reginald and Stacy Howard. He is a student at PBHS. His date was Raven Burnett, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Burnett.

Third runner-up went to Stephen Watson Jr., son of Rahn and Chense Graves and Stephen Watson Sr. He is a student at PBHS and his date was LaCatherine Williams, daughter of Catherine Burns and Jermaine Williams. Stephen also received the “Mr. Together” award, which is voted on by the young men and is awarded to the young man who demonstrated all the characteristics of a distinguished gentleman.

Awards for highest grade point averages were given to:

First placeZachary Fluker, son of Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Brian Fluker. He is a student at PBHS and his date was Ashley Gragg, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Gragg.

Second place Stephen Alexander, son of Greg and Karen Alexander. He is a student at Watson Chapel High School. His date was Leah West, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leroy West.

Third place — Kristopher Chatman, son of Phaedra Thompson and E. Tyrone Chatman. He is a student at PBHS and his date was Candice Lewis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tony Bates Sr.

The young men participating in this year’s event were involved in various activities that were strategically planned and held in preparation for their debut. All activities were designed to strengthen the gentlemen’s moral, cultural, and spiritual values and to nurture their desire to continue to strive for academic excellence. This vast array of activities included attending a meet and greet/orientation; financial planning workshop conducted by Lester Matlock; volunteering for the Enchanted Lights in Regional Park; participating in Salvation Army bell-ringing; attending Handel’s Messiah; participating in the MLK Marade; manners workshop; church fellowship with Old St. James Baptist Church; dinner with escorts, parents and members at the Black and Gold Room; and informational sessions presented by members of Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi graduate chapters.

The chairs for this year’s event were Shirley Jacob, Dora Sanders and Linda Richardson. Charlene Kelley is the president of the Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter.

Other Delta Distinguished Gentlemen, their parents, respective schools and dates were:

Earnett Adams III, son of Karen Adams, PBHS. His date was Sha’Keiria Burnett, daughter of Julius Barnett Sr. and La’Tricia Porter.

• Malik Jenkins, son of Kimberly Johnson and Jeremiah Johnson, PBHS. Tanilah Jones, daughter of Tonya Collins and Earnest Jones Jr., was his date.

• Jalen Mauldin, son of Erica Mauldin, WCHS. His date was Shekinah Alexander, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Greg Alexander.

• Jonathan McClinton, son of Brenda Jones and John McClinton, Pine Bluff High School; Simone Grice, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Deandre Allmond and Roy Grice Jr.

• Kirkland Warren, son of Dr. Donald and Harriet Warren, PBHS. Endya Allen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Hawkins, was his date.

• Nicholas Woodfork, son of Tina Perry and Nicky Woodfork, Dollarway High School. His date was Tinika Brown, daughter of LeKetia Brown

• Kirel Young, son of Kalisha Patterson, WCHS. His date was Kennedy Debose, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elager Debose III.

Having made its debut in February 1987, with 15 seniors from the Pine Bluff, Dollarway, Watson Chapel and White Hall School Districts, the area of selection for these outstanding young men has extended to other high schools within a 75- mile radius of Pine Bluff. The Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. takes pride in selecting graduating high school seniors who have not only demonstrated good citizenship and character, but have also distinguished themselves in their respective schools, churches and communities.