An evening of royal elegance

Published 7:16 pm Thursday, June 29, 2023

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Biennial Cotillion/Beautillion held

On Saturday, June 10, at 7 p.m., the members of Lambda Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® and Southampton-Franklin Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Incorporated culminated their 2022-2023 debutante/beau experience with its biennial Cotillion/Beautillion entitled “Stars of Today Soaring to Excellence” at Southampton High School in Courtland. 

Over the past nine months, 12 debutantes; Diangeliz Barreto-Soto, Kameile Carrington, Katelin Dawson, ShaVaria Hillard, Samyra Middleton, Kiersten Nichols, Mia Ricks, Shaimeer Shearing, Zakiyah Smith, Iyana Taylor and Jamiya Walker; along with six beaus; Shawn Battle, LaVonte Evans, Alvin Hicks, Jr., Jordan Myrick, Justin Preau and Travian Wilkerson, Jr.; participated in numerous enrichment activities, which contributed to their development and helped prepare them for their presentation to society. The debutantes and beaus created and participated in fundraisers for the fraternity and sorority scholarship fund.

On the night of the Cotillion/Beautillion, debutantes and beaus took the stage along with their parents in front of an audience of family and friends. The debutantes and beaus performed the waltz and showed their personalities in a fun, upbeat dance presentation called “A Style of Their Own.”

The speaker for the evening was Channel 13 News anchor and journalist, Eugene Daniel, who challenged the debutantes and beaus to find and pursue their passion and purpose to make a positive impact on the world. He provided examples from his personal journey in becoming a news anchor to encourage the debutantes and beaus to never give up on their dreams. The event was hosted by Ayana Lee Johnson, Miss Virginia Teen 2022, who shared that her personal battle with sickle cell anemia led her to her passion and purpose, which she has used her platform to pursue, as she strives to raise awareness about the disease and to inspire others to believe that they, too, can achieve their dreams in spite of difficulty.

The debutantes and beaus were presented with the following awards: Best Attendance, Highest GPA, Mr. Congeniality, the Pauline Cauthorne Morton Award and Best Scrapbook.

Kiersten (daughter of Alger and Keisha Nichols) was crowned 2023 Cotillion Queen, and Alvin (son of Alvin and Ebonie Hicks, Sr.) was crowned 2023 Beautillion King. Samyra (daughter of Stephen Middleton and Herberta Middleton) placed as the 2023 Cotillion First runner-up, and Kameile (daughter of Adam Carrington and Shameika Young) placed as the 2023 Cotillion second runner-up. LaVonte (son of Lavelle and Marika Evans) placed as the 2023 Beautillion first runner-up, and Justin (son of Ross and Natasha Preau) placed as the 2023 Beautillion second runner-up. All participants will receive scholarships to aid in their college education.

Escorts for the event were Jaden Godette, Darrin Leonard, Kaylin Pope, Jaden Reid, and Isaiah Williams. Ushers for the event were Deshawnta Jones, Jr., Logan Jetter, Camille Smith-Freeman, Ace Lee, Noah Sterling, Brooklyn Rhodes, Jordan Evans, Morgan West, Leah Sherrod and Dylan Granger.

The chairmen for the 2022-2023 debutante/beau experience and Cotillion/Beautillion were Cherese Parker-Freeman and Dr. Robert Hill, Jr. Renna Ebron serves as chapter president for the Lambda Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.®, and Tim Mays serves as the chapter president for the Southampton-Franklin Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc.

Both Lambda Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Southampton-Franklin Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity expressed their thanks for all who made the Cotillion/Beautillion a great success.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® (AKA) is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC, in 1908. It is the oldest Greek lettered organization established by African American, college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of more than 265,000 members in approximately 983 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany, South Korea, Bermuda, Japan, Canada, and South Africa. Led by International President Danette Anthony Reed, Alpha Kappa Alpha is often hailed as “America’s premier Greek-lettered organization for African American women.” For more information on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and its programs, visit

Kappa Alpha Psi® Fraternity, Inc. is an international organization founded on the campus of Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, on Jan. 5, 1911. Since its inception, it has trained over 150,000 men, particularly undergraduates, for leadership roles in their communities and the attainment of a high degree of excellence in their academic pursuits. The International Headquarters is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its National Service Program, Guide Right, is a program for the educational and occupational guidance of youth, primarily to inspire and inform character. Its reach extends to high schools and colleges alike. Guide Right’s signature initiative, Diamonds in the Rough, exposes young men across the nation to an intense college preparatory and scholarship access program.