19 teenagers complete Beautillion program with white tie ceremony
By Jeffrey Baptiste
After completing a nine-week program that started with a green coat ceremony, 19 teenage boys can say they’ve arrived. Their milestone was celebrated this past Sunday with White Tie event at the Lawson Center.
The event essentially mark their transition from boyhood to manhood.
It was the 10th time that the Tallahassee Chapter of The Links Incorporated presented the Beautillion event. So far 143 teenagers have participated in the program, said Links Beautillion chairperson Linda Dilworth.
“We have come to look at their outstanding achievements and accomplishments and to celebrate them tonight,” Dilworth said. “Our 2020 beaus have just completed nine weeks of programming and preparation for both manhood and success.”
The high school boys’ participation in the program was based on their achievements in the classroom academics. Other consideration also was given to their participation in leadership, sports, the arts, community service and church involvement.
“These young men embarked on a wonderful journey designed to stimulate further growth and development to enhance their civic responsibility and appreciation for cultural heritage,” said Debra Austin, vice president of the Tallahassee branch of The Links, Inc.
Each of the beaus was given a participation trophy and several were awarded monetary gifts and other prizes.
Jalan Shamar Black received the first-place award for the beau who demonstrated exemplary leadership in high school and community organizations. In addition, Black also was recognized as the 2020 beau of the year.
“I have been a vital part of a very supportive and loving family who has always encouraged me to do and be the very best,” Black said.
Seste Wilson IV was awarded the first-place trophy for highest number of documented community service hours.
The event attracted a cross-section of Tallahassee, including several community leaders.
Attorney Fred Flowers praised the boys for attaining the white tie milestone.
“These beaus have spent much time developing their physical, spiritual, and intellectual selves before being reincorporated back into or introduced into the community of society,” Flowers said.
The 19 beaus included Black, Robert Allen McCrackin, Sir Christian Hampton, Phillip Yarbourough Hinson II, Devin James Harrell, Alfred Joe Menjor, Wreylon Breon Moye, Jontavious Tyjuan Edukore, Andrew Charles Reaves, Jordan Amari Garner, Kylin Jashuan Byles, Victor Andre Clark Jr., Seste Wilson IV, Jackell Pedro Leland, Chance Allen Joseph, Demetrius Jamel Lawson, Darryl Eugene Bohler II, Maverick James Gunn and Kelvin Curtis Harper Jr.
Organizers of the event said 84 percent the young men hold a grade point average better than 3.0.
Victor Ander Clark Jr. received the academic excellence award for having the highest cumulative grade point average among his peers.
In one category, the beaus were recognized for outstanding community service based on their involvement in social, church, school and neighborhood organizations.
Plan are already underway for recognizing another class of beaus, said Alexis McMillan, Tallahassee chapter president.
“We have enjoyed working with these young men” she said. “It’s a labor of love and we really do appreciate sharing this momentous occasion.”