The Delta Omega Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated hosted the 48th annual Debutante Cotillion on Dec. 19 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Fifty-two high school girls dressed in white gowns waltzed across the floor with their dads after their formal introduction to society. They were awarded scholarships after completing a three month program that exposed them to social, cultural, academic, and community projects that their mentors hope will assist in their success after high school.

The Delta Omega Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated hosted the 48th annual Debutante Cotillion on Dec. 19 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Fifty-two high school girls dressed in white gowns waltzed across the floor with their dads after their formal introduction to society. They were awarded scholarships after completing a three month program that exposed them to social, cultural, academic, and community projects that their mentors hope will assist in their success after high school.


LaTaylor Rembert, a senior at Pine Bluff High School was crowned Miss Debutante 2015-2016. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roderick Rembert. Her escort for the evening was William Ridgell. Miss Debutante is not just the participant that sells the most ads, but also she embodies the characteristics that her mentors instilled in each debutante during the three month program. She has to demonstrate social skills and an awareness of sisterhood and community service.


" I don’t have any sisters and I’ve formed a sister like bond with some of the girls, Rembert said." I’m so excited to have been a part of all of this. I have grown to be a more respectful young lady. I plan to keep in touch with the girls after I start college and I want to mentor young girls that don’t have older sisters so they will know how to interact properly with other girls." She plans to attend the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in the fall and major in Business and Agriculture.


The runners up were Christian Broughton, a senior at Watson Chapel High School and Ashlyne J. Wooten, a senior at Pine Bluff High School.


Broughton is the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Kent Broughton. She was escorted by Stephen Alexander. She is planning to attend Howard University in the fall of 2016. The Debutante program has given her the confidence to pursue an education in broadcast journalism. Broughton said, " this program has really helped me gain a sense of awareness to be out going, because before being a part of this I was more of a home body. Going away that far I have to be willing to put myself out there and try new things."


Wooten, a senior at Pine Bluff High School and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Wooten, Jr. was escorted by Alvin Jordan O’Guinn.


The Tri-Chairmen for this program, Regina Carter-Carroll, Chandra Griffin, and Monica Isom were there every step of the way as the young ladies were transformed from ordinary honor roll seniors to distinguished Debutantes. They all exuded pride as each Debutante was presented. Entry into the program required a grade point average of 2.50. 71 percent of the participants had a grade point average over 3.0. Three participants had a grade point average over 4.0.


As each young lady took the floor individually to be presented to the audience of proud parents, relatives, and mentors a prerecorded message thanking the Delta Omega Omega Chapter was played. "This is an opportunity to show the community that all are not lost in our generation", said Aapri Buckner, Watson Chapel High School honor student.


Not only did these young ladies learn social skills but they were also taught skills to prepare them for their ACT. They were taken on college tours that educated them on what college entails and what is required to excel at that level of education. The favorite colleges among the young ladies were Jackson State University and Howard State University.


Dr. Jacquelyn McCray, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff delivered a welcoming message as she presented the university scholarships and awards. "I would like to encourage you to become apart of the pride", McCray said, addressing the debutantes.


Hundreds of scholarships have been awarded since the first Debutante Cotillion was held 48 years ago at Hestand Stadium. On Saturday several scholarships were awarded for books and even full tuition and room and board cost.


The 52 Debutantes represented White Hall High School, Pine Bluff High School, Watson Chapel High School, Dollarway High School, Wilbur D. Mills, and Southside High School.


Representing Pine Bluff High: Chi’Nia Ballard, daughter of Ms. Bonnie Williams, escorted by Jaylen McCombs; Jessica Bowers, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ota Murray and Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Bowers, Jr., escorted by Colin Smith; Taylor Brown, daughter of Ms. Jacquelyn Wilson and Mr. Anthony Brown, Sr., escorted by Keno Bohannon; Calyicia Collins, daughter of Mrs. Anita Collins and Mr. Kenneth Collins, escorted by Mateo Campbell; Daisha Gable, daughter of Ms. Marie Gable, escorted by JaQuavis Russell; Kiara Goodwin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Quentin Goodwin, escorted by Kaplan Davis; Kaya Griffin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Griffin, escorted by Leonard Robinson, Jr.; Aleisha Hayes, daughter of Mrs. Tora Marks and the late Mr. Torrance Hayes, escorted by Kentrel Johnson; Alexis Holcomb, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kelvin Moses and Mr. Rodney Holcomb, escorted by Chauncen Williams; Mikala Hughes, daughter of Ms. Takeiya Hudson and Mr. Michael Hughes, escorted by David Beasley; Taylor Ingersoll, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Wood, escorted by Mr. Joshua Blair; Jordan Iverson, daughter of Ms. Carolyn Iverson and Mr. Christopher Wimberly, escorted by Horace Jones; Jasmine James, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin James, escorted by Tavion English; Kaitlyn James, daughter of Ms. Karen Rodgers and Mr. Stanley James, escorted by Kacy Higgins, Jr.; Ahmoni L. D. Johnson, daughter of Ms. Monica Williams and Mr. Jermaine Jackson, Sr., escorted by Joshua Willis; Kialandrea D. Kilpatrick, daughter of Ms. Alandrea Minor, escorted by La’ Darius Skelton; Ronni D. Knox, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Benji Eldridge and Mr. Ronald Knox, escorted by KaMarius Christopher; Ti’Mia A. Lancaster, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Lancaster, escorted by Darrin Trimble; Ja’Lesiya K. Lindsey, daughter of Ms. Alisha Bass and Mr. Samuel Lindsey II, escorted by Eric Hall Jr.; Brianna S. Malone, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Malone, escorted by Jaylen Fuller; Tia N. Rice, daughter of Dr. Antonie Rice and Mrs. Rashonda Rice, escorted by Antoine Rice Jr.; Nyla Riley, daughter of Ms. Yolanda Riley, escorted by Cameron Withers; J’Cara T. Robinson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Terrance Robinson, escorted by LaDarius Clark; Kyler T. Rouse, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Christopher L. Mack Sr., escorted by Brandon Lowe; Bri’ Anna N. Sloan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Derrick Sloan Sr., escorted by Joseph Scott; Taylor M. Swygert, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur L. Johnson, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. James Swygert, escorted by Ti’Ran Compton; La’Myah D. Turner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lazerick Thompkins and Mr. Timothy Turner, escorted by Markell Taylor; Leah J. West, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leroy West, Jr., escorted by John Tate; Christina D. Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams, escorted by Antoin Harris; Marta’sha Rena Winston, daughter of Ms. Tiffany Copeland, escorted by Brian Donald.


Representing Watson Chapel High School: Aapri Buckner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Davis and Mr. Michael Johnson, escorted by Jordan Pitts; Brianna Clark, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Clark, escorted by Percy Snelling III; Dakedra Holmes, daughter of Mrs. Tandisha Handley-Price and Mr. Dale Holmes, escorted by Bernard Black; Triona Johnson, daughter of Mrs. Trina Johnson and Mr. Kenneth Johnson, escorted by Bruce Rollins, Jr.; Kimberly B. Marcus, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herschel Marcus, escorted by Corey Jackson, Jr.; Morgan A. Monk, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roderick Monk, escorted by Keith Murray; Da’Jour B. Nelson, daughter of Ms. Tamina and Mr. James Nelson, escorted by Javione Steward; Aungelique A.D. Sargent, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry King, escorted by Darrion Evans; Alexis L. Whitten, daughter of Mrs. Ora Reynolds and Mr. Earnest Whitten, escorted by Otis Dunn III.


Representing Dollarway High School: Akilah Chambers, daughter of Ms. Belinda Chambers and Mr. Austin Sanders, escorted by Cameron Robertson; Asha Irby, daughter of Mrs. Tracey Daniels-Chatman and Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Irby, escorted by Jordan Davis; Ty’Nesha LaShawn Lever, daughter of Ms. Teresa Barnes, escorted by Corey Richmond; LaBrooke J. Turner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Turner, escorted by KeShun Cross.


Representing White Hall High School: Brianna Boston, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Davis and Mr. Sherrod Dickson, escorted by Stephen Whiteside; Diamond Compton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Gaines and Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Compton, escorted by Grayson Gordon; Aralyne K. Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Johnson, escorted by Kenton L. Graham; Lauryn A. Smile-Howell, daughter of Ms. Mamie Smile, escorted by Taderrian Wiley.


Representing Wilbur D. Mills High: Jasmine Michelle Scovell, daughter of Mrs. Idris Turner and Mr. Jadore Scovell, escorted by Chauncey Clayton.


Representing Southside High School: Kira Briggs, daughter of Mrs. Christie Lankford-Briggs and Mr. Marlon Briggs, escorted by Shundrick Fisher.


This is a historical event that requires the help of several committee members in order for it to be successful. "This is a part of our history, some of these young ladies’ mothers were once debutantes," said publicity committee member Mattie Collins.


"When we are old and sleepy and all the stars of evening fall. We, yet, will cherish memories of "The Great Cotillion Ball.", excerpt of a poem written by Helen S. Cotton that was read during last Saturday’s Cotillion.