The 46th Annual Debutante Cotillion presented by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Omega Omega Chapter was held recently at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.
All eyes steadfastly gazed as 36 young ladies were formally introduced to society. The banquet hall, softly decorated in pink and white with a rose-petal-covered floor and pearl-wrapped glass centerpieces, set the stage for this year’s theme, “An Array of Precious Pearls.”
Debutantes were introduced by Laurence B. Alexander, chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and Carolyn Frazier Blakely, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and inductee to the National Alumni Hall of Fame at UAPB.
Soloist Keith Savage serenaded the ladies with “Something About Your Love” and “You Are So Beautiful.” Felicitations were offered by Bettye Wright and Teresa Moka.
As the curtain opened, each debutante, elegantly dressed in a full-length white ballgown, emerged as an iridescent gem from its shell. Demonstrating poise and sophistication, the young ladies stepped onto the platform to a waiting audience of parents, relatives, escorts, friends and other well-wishers.
Through their approximately four-month process of preparation, the debutantes — all high school seniors — participated in activities aimed at developing character, enhancing academic excellence, practicing proper etiquette and social graces in their goals of becoming exceptional women discovering and fulfilling their dreams.
Sabrene Jolley, a senior at Pine Bluff High School is already making her mark doing poetry on 88.3 KABF Young & Unashamed Radio in Little Rock. Sabrene is honored to have been selected as a debutante. “It feels good,” she said. “Not many girls get picked … I am happy that I did.”
Sharing her pre-Cotillion jitters she added, “We spent a lot of time preparing and I pray we do a very good job when we dance and present ourselves in front of people.” She said the experience has benefited her because, “a lot of things they have talked to us about has helped me grow.”
Morgan Gathen from Warren High School aspires to go to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to become a pediatric nurse. Happy that the big moment had finally arrived she said, “I am excited to see everyone do all the things we have practiced.” She did, however, admit to being “a little nervous about remembering the steps to the dance and the curtsey.”
On the other hand, Cotillion committee team member, Mattie Collins lacked no confidence. “Theses ladies are sharp,” she said. “They have worked so well together and had great attitudes. We are proud of them.”
The committee was especially proud that 29 of the 36 debutantes are honor students.
The debutante with the highest grade point average in each of the six schools represented received the GPA Cotillion Award. Recipients were Morgan Gathen, Jensen Johnson, Kennedi Brown, Ja’Toria Kaye Burton, Daphne Dunn and Andrea Williams.
Miss Congeniality was awarded to Samicia King.
The Margaret Spearman award, given to the debutante who most clearly exemplified the expected character, personality, and spirit typically observed in young women chosen to be debutantes went to Kennedy Camille DeBose, a senior at Pine Bluff High School.
Jenson and Morgan were respectively second and first runner-up for the crown, while Miss Debutante went to Aeriel Mack, a senior at PBHS.
After the debutantes gracefully waltzed with their fathers or gentleman presenters, followed by a waltz with their escorts, the evening climaxed with the sorority sisters singing their national hymn.
Terri Jackson is the president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Omega Omega Chapter. Since 1968, Delta Omega Omega Chapter has provided an avenue for young ladies in the community to gain skills to help them transition successfully into adulthood.
Tri-chairs were Damiccah Robertson, Willette Totten and Shara Williams.
The 2013 Debutantes, their presenters, parents and escorts are:
• Jayla Alexander, Watson Chapel High School; daughter of Stephanie Boston and Lloyd Alexander IV, presented by Antoine Burton, escorted by Xavier R. Bullard, the son of Yulanda Hill and Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Bullard.
• Endya Allen, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Omar Allen and Pamela Hawkins and the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Hawkins, presented by Omar Allen, escorted by Kirkland Warren, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Warren.
• Jae’Lisa Sierra Allen, White Hall High School; daughter of Lisa Ruth and Jason Allen, presented by Thomas Ruth, escorted by Kaseem Smith Jr., the son of Mr. and Mrs. Kaseem Smith.
• Kamarie Ashanti Anderson, Watson Chapel High School; daughter of Keyana Anderson and Kenneth Chambers, presented by Kenneth Chambers, escorted by Malik Jenkins, the son of Kimbley Johnson and Jeremiah Johnson.
• Paeyton Arnold, White Hall High School; daughter of Cynthia Arnold, presented by Joe Gray, escorted by Benjamin Marcus, the son of Dr. and Mrs. Herschel Marcus.
• Ahlanda Sherree Bradley, Dollarway High School; daughter of Irene Bradley and Billy Bradley, presented by Billy Bradley, escorted by LeDarius Tillman, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Havith Robinson.
• Kennedi Brown, Monticello High School was ill and could not be presented. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ramone M. Brown.
• Ja’Toria Kaye Burton, Dollarway High School; daughter of Wanda Burton and Floyd Johnson, presented by Jamal Burton, escorted by Randon Versey, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Regis Versey.
• Ancaria Danielle Campbell, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carvis Campbell, presented by Carvis Campbell, escorted by Reginald Howard, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Howard.
• Kennedy Camille DeBose, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mickey DeBose, presented by Mickey DeBose, escorted by Jordan Dowd, the son of Shelia Early and Tony Dowd.
• Diamon Simone Dixson, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Tara Dickerson and Theodis Dixson, presented by Theo Dickerson II., escorted by Victor Dewayne Ryland Jr., the son of Mary Shepherd.
• Alana Dunlap, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Dunlap, presented by Alvin Dunlap, escorted by Demetris Anderson, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Troy Anderson.
• Daphane Dunn,Watson Chapel High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Dunn, presented by Carl Dunn, escorted by Joshua Harris, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jackie Harris.
• Phylicia Regine Deja Dyer, Dollarway High School; daughter of Patty Dyer, presented by Joel Phillip Dyer III, escorted by Joshua Liddell, the son of Vickie Liddell and the late Rev. James Liddell.
• Shanta Christine Futch, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Omie Futch and Rev. Paul Futch, presented by Rev. Paul Futch, escorted by Kyron Allen Lawson, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Terry Lawson.
• Morgan Gathen, Warren High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Karon Ridgell, presented by Thomas Gathen, escorted by David Ridgell Jr., the son of Trudy Matthews and Mr. and Mrs. David Ridgell.
• Si’Mone Grice, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Roy Grice and Mr. & Mrs. DeAndre Allmon, presented by Roy Lee Grice, escorted by DaQuaron R. Dale, the son of Tresha L. James.
• Chelsea Jackson, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Jackson, presented by Kevin Jackson, escorted by Rodney Seals, the son of Kymara Seals and Rodney Seals.
• Kennedy Jackson, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Anderson & Mr. and Mrs. Kelon Jackson, presented by Charles Anderson, escorted by Joshua Dwayne Sanders, the son of Verlia Sanders.
• Alexis C. James, Watson Chapel High School; daughter of Pamela Smith and Charles B. James, presented by Jerry Tanner Jr., escorted by Jeron York, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy York.
• Daija James, Watson Chapel High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lethaniel James, presented by Lethaniel James, escorted by Kelven Hadley Jr. the son of Mr. & Mrs. Kelven Hadley Sr.
• Jensen Johnson, White Hall High School; daughter of Angela Gordon and Lloyd Timothy Johnson, presented by Lloyd Timothy Johnson, escorted by Brian Donald, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Donald.
• Sabreen Jolley, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Langel, presented by Kevin Langel, escorted by Caleb Russell, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Russell.
• Maegan Ella Jones, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Mae Ola Jones-Toston, presented by Nathaniel Thompson, escorted by Jarrius Marshall, the son of Ms. Nadine Marshall.
• Tanilah Jones, Watson Chapel High School; daughter of Tanya Collins and Earnest Jones Jr., presented by Earnest Jones Jr., escorted by Earnest Jones III, the son of Tanya Collins and Earnest Jones, Jr.
• Samicia King, Watson Chapel High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tye Goodlow and the late Samuel King Jr., presented by Tye Goodlow, escorted by Diaunte Ellison, the son of Maricha Walker.
• Aeriel Mack, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Christopher Mack, presented by Rev. Christopher Mack, escorted by Martel Culclager, the son of Markisha Williams and Billy Culclager.
• Ashane’ R. Stringer-McBride, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kurwin L. White and the late Calvette Stringer, presented by Kurwin L. White, escorted by Deandre Gates the son of Beverly Kye.
• Terris Moody, White Hall High School; daughter of Barbara Ray and Sterling Moody, presented by Sterling Moody, escorted by Kevin Kirk the son of Arlene Kirk.
• Antravia Phillips, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Tameka Walton and Christopher Phillips, presented by Darrius Culclager, escorted by Tevin Brown, the son of Rev. and Mrs. Terry Brown.
• Alundria Rollins, Watson Chapel High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Rollins, presented by Bruce Rollins, escorted by Bryan Kentle, the son of Latoya Robinson.
• Sheyanne Todle, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Todle Sr., presented by Steven Todle Sr., escorted by Roosevelt Murray Jr., the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt Murray Sr.
• Kaylnne Warren, Dollarway High School; daughter of Brenda Warren and Willie Warren, presented Willie Warren, escorted by KeAndre Hudson, the son of Katina Laws.
• Cierra Simone White, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Charone Alexander and Clancy White, presented by Gregory Alexander, escorted by Stephen Alexander, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Alexander.
• Andrea Williams, Pine Bluff High School; daughter of Betty Cloird and Virgil Williams, presented by Jerry Gray, escorted by Tyler Smith, the grandson of Daisy Smith.
• Alexis M. Winston, White Hall High School; daughter of Jalina R. Williams and Samuel E. Pendergrass, presented by Samuel E. Pendergrass, escorted by Eric Thompson, the son of Gail Tatum.