Sorority Beautillion Militaire Scholarship Gala

More than 400 people attended the St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Beautillion Militaire Beta Class Scholarship Gala Sunday, April 29 at the historic Coliseum.  Pictured L-R, Ruby Griffin, Dylan Davis and Dr. Shameka Jones

 

BY RAVEN JOY SHONEL, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG – “Excitement fills the Coliseum as we anxiously await the royal celebration,” exclaimed Nevida Adams.

Her observations captured the excitement in the room when she welcomed the community to the St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Beautillion Militaire Beta Class Scholarship Gala.

Sunday, April 29 was the culminating event of a six-month experience filled with lifelong lessons, character building exercises, community service projects and other life-building challenges. This experience helped equip these 15 young men with new ways of thinking and strived to navigate them through certain challenges.

“Challenges that will help them to be brilliant black men in America; challenges that will help them to personify black excellence; challenges that show they haven’t walked this journey to manhood alone,” said Orlando Pizana, as he put this rite of passage ceremony into a historical context steaming back to Africa.

The beaux were exposed to competent and professional men during various workshops and activities that were both rewarding and memorable. The Beautillion Militaire Experience was to enhance the character, educational and social experiences of these young men while providing a life-enriching program.

Two of the most beautiful people in the room played Mistress and Master of Ceremonies, Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap and R&B recording artist Alex Harris.

“This evening is the culmination of their personal journey in preparation for manhood and celebration of their leadership achievements to the program’s completion,” said Harris.

The mission of the Beautillion Militaire Experience is to recognize and encourage young men to obtain higher levels of personal achievement, self-confidence, pride and cultural awareness. It is designed to celebrate and honor African-American young men. The high school juniors and seniors were given tools to transition successfully from high school to post-secondary education and to young adulthood.

Rev. Ken Irby read a proclamation from Mayor Rick Kriseman declaring April 29, 2018, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Beautillion Militaire Day, while Rev. Louis Murphy, Sr. gave the blessing for the food catered by none other than Heavy’s catering.

The beaux performed at military drill, danced the waltz with their belles, and of course, danced with their mothers. By the end the evening, everyone was sitting at the edge of their seats awaiting the scholarship award announcements. Each beau and belle went home with major swag, and this year’s winners were:

2018 Mr. Beautillion Militaire: Dylan Davis

  • 1st Place: Clayton Brody
  • 2nd Place: Leonte’ Tukes
  • Highest GPA: Demetrius Williams
  • Community Service Award: Carlos Lovett, Jr.
  • Mr. Reserved Award: Justin Gamble
  • Go Getter Award: Leonte’ Tukes
  • Mr. Debonnaire Award: AnTre’z Smith
  • Best All Around Award: Jalen Dixon

St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated thanked their many sponsors, workshop facilitators, Chapter President Ruby Griffin, Beautillion Chair Dr. Shameka Jones, Beautillion Co-Chairs Stephanie Godbee and Dr. Vonda Jackson Colquitt and the rest of the committee for pulling off such a wonderful event.

Carlos LovettCarlos Lovett, Jr.

Escorted by his parents Carlos Lovett Sr. and Tameko Lovett, he is a senior at Northside Christian School.

He plans to attend Hampton University and major in biology and minor in marine science. His goal is to pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon.

Favorite quote: “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”  – 1 Samuel 16:7

Carlos’ belle for the evening was Michaela Rucker.

Antrez SmithAnTre’z Smith

Escorted by his mother LaToya Reedy and Uncle Jerard Reedy, he is a junior at The Boca Ciega High School.

He plans to attend Florida A&M University and major in broadcast journalism.

Favorite quote: “Whoever goes against me has to lose.” – Tee Grizzley

AnTre’z’s belle for the evening was Jalea Reedy.

Leatric ReidLeatric Reid

Escorted by his mom Chemaya Lainfiesta, he is a senior at Gibbs Performing Center for the Arts.

He plans to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston where he will major in music performance.

Favorite quote: “For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught to say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels…” – Frank Sinatra

Leatric’s belle for the evening was Jeneice Talbert.

Nicholas FlowersNicholas Flowers

Escorted by his grandparents Freddie and Margaret Fussell, he is a junior at Gibbs High School.

He plans to attend the fire academy and pursue a career as a firefighter. Also, he plans to become a member of the clergy.

Favorite quote: “Highest quality of character, achievements, and academics; precision in marching, perfection in musicianship, dedication to service and strive for the best.” – Dr. William P. Foster

Nicholas’ belle for the evening was Laquail Mitchell.

Jalen DixonJalen Dixon

Escorted by his mother Taneka Dixon and father figure Odell Sermon, he is a junior at Lakewood High School.

He plans to attend Florida State University and major in sports medicine.

Favorite quote: “If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll become successful.”

Jalen’s belle for the evening was Giovanna Capehart.

Leonte TukesLeonte’ Tukes

Escorted by his mother Aireous Shorter and father Leonte’ Tukes, he is a senior at St. Petersburg High School.

He plans to attend Bethune Cookman University, major in Christian Theology and pursue the Christian ministry.

Favorite quote: “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” —Proverbs 20:11

Leonte’s belle for the evening was Charnecia Cummings.

R LeeksRashon Leeks

Escorted by his mother and father Mr. and Mrs. Timothy and Tamika Leeks, he is a senior at Pinellas Park High School.

He plans to attend the coast guard, Florida A&M University and strive for a career as an attorney.

Favorite quote: “I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.” – John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Rashon’s belle for the evening was Imarie Wright.

Dylan DavisDylan Davis

Escorted by his parents Mr. and Mrs. Derrick and Stephanie Thomas, he is a senior at Berkley Preparatory School in Tampa.

He will attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., this fall and plans to pursue a career in editorial photography.

Favorite quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Dylan’s belle for the evening was Ashlyn Baker.

Justin GambleJustin Gamble

Escorted by his mother Patty Gamble and his mentor Alan Coleman, he is a senior at The Boca Ciega High School.

He plans to receive additional vocational training through the Extended Transition of Pinellas County after graduation.

Favorite quote: “…I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” – Jeremiah 29:10-11

Justin’s belle for the evening was Akaecia Poole.

ChandrahasaChandrahasa Srinivasa, Jr.

Escorted by his parents Mr. and Mrs. Chan and Sabrina Srinivasa, he is junior at The Boca Ciega High School.

He plans to attend Florida A&M University where he will major in pre-medicine and pursue a career as an anesthesiologist.

Favorite quote: “Anything’s possible, you gotta dream like you never seen obstacles.” – J. Cole

Chandrahasa’s belle for the evening was Sierra Lowery.

Torrence RuffinTorrence Ruffin, Jr.

Escorted by his grandparents Mr. & Mrs. James and Elmira McMillan, he is a junior at Lakewood High School.

He plans to attend college and major in marine biology or veterinary science.

Favorite quote: “When you feel like you’ve reached your limit, it’s only the beginning, that’s when it’s time to dig deep, to find the courage to push some more.” — LeBron James

Torrence’s belle for the evening was Rayona McDonald.

Aaron WilliamsAaron Williams

Escorted by his mother Kimberly Williams and mentor Dr. Chris Warren, he is a senior at Gibbs High School.

He plans to attend the University of South Florida and major in mass communications.

Favorite quote: “Giving up is harder than trying.”  – Kanye West

Aaron’s belle for the evening was Madison Rock.

Dalon WilsonDalon Wilson

Escorted by his parents Michelle Mann and David Brown, he is a senior at Lakewood High School.

He plans to attend Allen University in Columbia, S.C., and major in religion and philosophy.

Favorite quote: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” — Philippians 4:13

Dalon’s belle for the evening was Shantana Headley.

Clayton BrodyClayton Brody

Escorted by his parents Mr. and Mrs. Carl and Lisa Brody, he is a junior at Admiral Farragut Academy.

He plans to attend college and major in business and marketing. After college, he will pursue a career as a Major League Baseball executive.

Favorite quote: “There is no better than adversity.  Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” – Malcolm X

Clayton’s belle for the evening was Maya Hughes.

Demetrius WilliamsDemetrius Williams, Jr.

Escorted by his parents Mr. and Mrs. Demetrius and Karen Williams, he is a junior at St. Petersburg High school.

He plans to attend college and major in marketing and business administration and pursue a career as an entrepreneur, owning his own restaurant.

Favorite quote: “Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee

Demetrius’ belle for the evening was Endea Robinson.

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