By Tuseda A. Graggs
One by one, nearly a dozen 16- and 17-year-old girls stood at the podium to declare how wonderful their mothers are and to express how their Moms have helped them blossom into smart, powerful young ladies.
“I simply love my Mom’s courage,” said Klarc Abrams, a 16-year-old junior at St. Mary’s High School in Berkeley before she introduced her mother Gina. “I know with this courage that she’s instilled that I can do anything.”
As the young ladies spoke, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
“It is important that you look at your mothers’ strength,” said Darrylyn Z. Swift, president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.’s Contra Costa Alumnae Chapter told the teens during a Mother-Daughter Tea event on May 4. “Your mothers have lived the lives that you’re trying to live. Learn from their pearls of wisdom.”
Swift’s reference to pearls was intentional because the 12 girls are being polished, poised and prepared to become “Pearls of Perfection” through their participation in the sorority’s debutante program.
Nearly 100 women and young ladies in floral attire with hats, and some sporting pastel gloves, attended the Mother-Daughter Tea at the Crowne Plaza in Concord.
It was the first public speaking event for the young ladies as part of their multi-faceted training program on the road to becoming refined young ladies. The girls represent a cross-section of the Bay Area.
They are all high school juniors. Some are athletic, some are shy, others are the life of the party. Some travel from as far as Stockton and Vacaville to participate in the monthly workshops and events.
“We realize that these young ladies are the future – future leaders, doctors, lawyers and presidents. And we’re living up to our mission as members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to both give back to the community and to support the growth and development of these young ladies,” said Swift.
“We also get to touch the lives of young men because we include the 12 debutantes’ escorts in various workshops and events. This is a beautiful learning experience for both our young women and young men. “
The Pearls of Perfection program began in with the goal of giving a chance to young ladies to engage in etiquette and social graces workshops with an additional emphasis on college readiness, Swift said. The program is not all work, the young ladies travel together, they have fun together and they are already forming lifetime bonds.
The yearlong program includes workshops on etiquette, life skills enhancement, college preparation and community involvement. The debutantes have also toured several University of California campuses. They will also participate in a talent and fashion show in September, a Father-Daughter social, and a community service project in December.
The program culminates with a huge Debutante Cotillion in January 2015. Then the program begins again for the 2015-16 season with a new set of debutantes – three of whom are already participating this year as “Ladies in Waiting.”
“We want to continue the program every year so that we can reach as many young people as possible,” Swift said.
For more information about the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Contra Costa Alumnae Chapter’s Debutante and Program and Cotillion and how to apply and participate please “like” the Facebook page – Contra Costa Alumnae Chapter Debutante Program or check the website at www.ccacdebutante.com.