Tallahassee Links honors eighteen seniors at Eighth Annual Links Beautillion Green Coat Ceremony


Eighteen Links Beautillion Beaux posed with Congressman Al Lawson
1st Row: Tareq Salley, Jordan Nance, Malik Jefferies, Spencer Lewis, Jalen Monroe, Ronnie Fields, Jr., Marion “Trey” Jones, Kameron Woodard and Austin Glenn. 2nd Row: Winston Bogan, Stanton Johnson, Jeremiah Jones, Marcus Boston, III, John Bailey, Congressman Al Lawson, Jr., Jordan Burney, Adarius Baker, Ernso Louissaint
and Kyreek Kelly.

Special to the Outlook

Eighteen local high school seniors were honored on Sunday, Jan. 14 at Tallahassee Chapter of The Links, Incorporated’s 8th Annual Links Beautillion Green Coat Ceremony. Congressman Al Lawson, Jr. was the keynote speaker and joined former Mayor John Marks, III and other community leaders in greetings of inspiration to the celebrated young men.  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 8th Annual Links Beautillion Program include: Kyreek Kelly of FAMU DRS; Jordan Nance and Tareq Salley of Rickards High School; John Bailey, Winston Bogan, Marcus Boston, Austin Glenn, Malik Jefferies, Stanton Johnson, and Spencer Lewis of Lincoln High School; Jordan Burney and Marion “Trey” Jones of Godby High School; Adarius Baker, Jalen Monroe and Kameron Woodard of Florida State University High School; Jeremiah Jones and Ernso Louissaint of Lawton Chiles High School; and Ronnie Fields, Jr. of Gadsden County 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 nine 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 presented by Justice Peggy Quince, a Washington, DC visit and tour, a tour of Howard University, an entrepreneurial session presented by businessman Mr. Angelo Crowell, guests of the NBA at the Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks basketball game, a Character Education presentation provided by Mr. Zachary Ansley, a Financial Planning presentation provided by Mr. William McCloud, a Life Skills presentation provided by Mrs. Jane Marks, a discussion of Trending Topics presented by Rev. Aaron Treadwell 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 11 with a White Tie event introducing and celebrating the leadership, mentoring, cultural and character enrichment program completion by the eighteen beaux.  The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of more than 15,000 professional women of color in 285 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 67 years of community service and has a membership of 36 leading African American women in the Tallahassee community.