Tallahassee Links honor twenty-one seniors at Seventh Annual Links Beautillion Green Coat Ceremony
Special to the Outlook
Twenty-one local high school seniors were honored on Sunday, Jan. 15 at Tallahassee Chapter of The Links, Incorporated’s 7th Annual Links Beautillion Green Coat Ceremony. The Green Coat Ceremony launches the organization’s annual Leadership Development, Mentoring, Character Education Program and Links Beautillion and signals participants’ commitment and period of preparation for transitioning from boyhood to manhood.
Links participants (referred to individually as Beau) were selected based upon demonstrated achievements in academics, leadership, sports, the arts, community service and/or church involvement. Local high school seniors selected for participation in the Green Coat Ceremony and 7th Annual Links Beautillion Program include: Darryl Banks, Jr., Jovan Childress and Ashton Edmunds of FAMU DRS; Shawn Holloway, Khari Jackson, and Martin Williams of Rickards High School; Israel Chipman of Leon High School; Kai Davis, Jr., Darrell Ford, Johnny “McFero” Grace, IV, Rickie Mobley, Jr., Sam Oliver, III, Craig Robey and Bryce Turner of Lincoln High School; Sidney Lyght of Godby High School; Christopher Lucas of North Florida Christian High School; J. Harrison McAllister, III and Christian Patterson of Florida State University High School; Nickolas Harvey of Lawton Chiles High School; and Xavier Bush and Russell Harrison, Jr. of West Gadsden High School.
Statistics show that the proportion of students who fail to graduate from high school is strikingly higher among the two largest minority groups: Hispanics and African-Americans as compared to non-Hispanic Whites. Tallahassee Links saw minority student graduation rates and high school dropout rates as a concern and developed a support program to make a difference.
The Links Beautillion is a six weeks curriculum based program that affords participating male seniors extraordinary, high quality exposure and opportunities such as a Man-to-Man session presented by Col (ret.) Ronald Joe, Tuskegee Airman presentation provided by Dr. A.J. Brickler, A Legal Rights presentation and Supreme Court Tour present by Justice Peggy Quince, a New Orleans visit as guests of the NBA New Orleans Pelicans and New Orleans university tours and a Southwood Golf Clinic.
Chapter President Debra Austin said, “I am pleased that the value of education coupled with preparation for responsible adult behavior as a member of society is the focal point of our Links program. Our program emphasizes the importance of these virtues as keys to success.”
The Links Beautillion program will culminate on March 5 with a White Tie event introducing and celebrating leadership, mentoring, cultural and character enrichment program completion by the twenty-one beaux. The Links, Incorporated is an international, non-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of nearly 14,000 professional women of color in 283 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation.
The Tallahassee Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, Florida’s first chapter chartered in 1951, has now provided 66 years of community service and has a membership of 33 leading African American women in the Tallahassee community.