Talented teens spice up scholarship breakfast

BY EMMA COOPER CAVIN

ST. PETERSBURG — The Dolphin Beach Resort Ballroom was the venue for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority’s holiday breakfast and fashion show, a festive activity that serves as the kick-off event to local parties while bringing in funds to provide resources for scholarships and community projects.

The view of the Gulf of Mexico’s beautiful blue water flowing toward the sandy shore on a warm sunny day could only enhance the ambiance of the gaily decorated room as guests gathered for a tasty country-style breakfast, fellowship with friends and a fashion show to take their breath away.

December seemed even more festive for the “Ladies in Blue” last Saturday as their youth auxiliary, other St. Petersburg youth, relatives and friends strolled through the crowd, or swirled and twirled to the holiday music.

Yes! Zeta Phi Beta Sorority’s annual holiday breakfast and fashion show was presented with an entirely new twist.  Featured in the fashion show were some of our city’s most focused and ambitious young people, all proud to show just who they are, what they have done and what they hope to do in the future.

Some are high school graduates who have already started their college careers, some will graduate next spring, and others are just beginning that journey. With delight, they displayed their varied talents with musical instruments, electronic gadgets and accounts of educational successes.  Future plans varied even more as evidenced by the information the Mistress of Ceremonies, Tamikia Berry, read from their resumes.

Personal tastes in clothing were just as varied for these young people as their interests and their plans for their futures. Where one young lady dressed in bright colors with the perfect accessories, another one preferred casual so that she could be comfortable using her paints and crayons anywhere and anytime.

Comfortable but tasteful appeared to be the goal; pants outfits appeared to be the preferred attire. With the young men, dressy suits to casual suits to sporty outfits that worked well on the basketball courts were the preferred attire, depending on the individual, of course.  It was an interesting fashion show and an introduction to an exceptional group of young people.

The female fashion show models included De’Janique Burton and Crystina Garcia, students in the Pinellas County Center for the Arts Program (PCCA) at Gibbs High School. De’Janique is a musician, while Crystina is a visual artist. Both are members of Zeta’s youth program.

Briana Macon, also a member of Zeta’s youth program, is a senior at Boca Ciega High School and an accomplished musician, band member and JROTC officer who plays several instruments. Danielle Russell is a 2015 graduate of PCCA; she is a former track and volleyball team member who is currently working toward a degree in nursing at St. Petersburg College. She also plays the clarinet.

A member of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence, Darion Bradley, Jr. is a junior at Lakewood High School who tutors and mentors others, writes songs, plays varsity basketball and varsity football while keeping his grades up and working a part-time job. Whew!

The four other models, all male, are already high school graduates who have begun their college careers.  Gerald Carter graduated from Sherwood High School in Olney, Md., class of 2014. He sings, draws, and writes, but his ambition is to become a designer of video games.  He is enjoying his new position as a baker’s apprentice at Publix.

Chris Lampley graduated from Countryside High School last June. While in high school, Chris lettered in basketball, track and cross-country. He enjoys writing music and poems as well as working as a personal trainer. Future plans are to attend the University of Alabama to become a graphic designer or professional athletic trainer.

Keith Crosby and Jason Macon, Jr. are well on their way to achieving their professional goals. Keith, a 2010 graduate of St. Petersburg High School, is currently attending the Miami School of Acting. In addition to his desire to pursue a career in acting, he has already begun songwriting and singing.  He is a role model and works with the youth in the Outreach Ministry of the church he attends.

Jason, on the other hand, is a graduate of Boca Ciega High School who now attends Charleston Southern University, majoring in Christian Studies.  In addition to playing on the Charleston Southern Buccaneers football team, he lifts weights cooks and serves as a youth Bible study teacher and youth mentor. On the second Sunday of this month, Jason is scheduled to deliver his first sermon.

With such positive histories, we can very well expect much success in the futures of this group of young people. Their presence and participation in community and educational activities are inspirations to people of all ages. The smiles on the faces of the people at the breakfast tell the story.  These young people are great! We can all be proud of them and help them to reach their goals.

The Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, is a community-conscious, action-oriented organization that was established on January 16, 1920, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC.   This year marks 60 years of service the Zeta Gamma Zeta Chapter, has rendered service to St. Petersburg. 

Daphne Lampley is the chapter president. Chairman of the Holiday Scholarship and Breakfast Committee is Brandie Williams Macon, with Yvonne King, Patricia Stewart and Sylvia Umar as committee members. Happy Holidays!

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