Tallahassee Links graduates another Beautillion class
By Ashia Glover
Under the dim lights in the conference room at the University Center, 22 teenage high school boys were celebrated Sunday night for attaining Beautillion status after weeks of mentoring through the Tallahassee Chapter of the Links Incorporated.
The ceremony, a confirmation of their completion of a seven-week character building program, was witnessed by an audience that included their parents, supporters and several elected officials.
What the audience witnessed was a ceremony that organizers say traditionally marks the beginning of a life-changing experience for each Beautillion. Many of them walked away with individual awards.
Julius McAllister III, son of Rev. Julius McAllister Jr., minister at Bethel AME Church, was named Beau of the Year. He credits his father for being his biggest influence.
“My dad has molded me to be the man I am today,” he said. “As I hold the title of Beau of the Year, I hold responsibilities and gifts and graces that God has instilled in me.
“My experience with the Links Beautillion has been unimaginable. All of us have grown in the seven-week process as brothers. Everything we have done together has been done with passion and the willing that we want to be great in the world.”
That indeed is the purpose of the program for the participants who joined on recommendations from their school’s advisors. During their preparation leading up to Sunday night, the young men developed leadership skills, while enhancing their preparation for being successful at the next level of their education and into their chosen professions.
In addition to the Beau of the Year award, some participants were recognized for their outstanding academic performance, outstanding leadership and community service.
The seven weeks of preparation left an indelible mark on 17-year-old Ashton Edmunds, a student at FAMU High.
“My experience with the Links was awesome,” he said. “I built a brotherhood with them. Just bonding with my brothers is great. The Links gave us leadership skills. Taught us to take ownership with everything we do. As a man you have to do that. I plan to change people’s lives and encourage people to do great things and strive for greatness.”