By Justin Boron
The sparkle in Jharde' Johnson's eye matched the shimmering three-diamond pendant that former McDonough Mayor William Copeland presented her this weekend at the Chosen Heirs Third Annual Charity Luncheon.
The young minority women's club recognized Johnson, one of its most experienced members, at the Eagle's Landing Country Club where about 45 parents and Henry and Clayton County leaders applauded the 20 club members' progress in the three years since the group was formed.
Chosen Heirs has been led by Karen Nichols whose inspiration from an afternoon talk show amounted to a club that hems social propriety with community service extending from Henry and Clayton County all the way to Johannesburg, South Africa.
"The club is meant to give the girls a head start," she said.
Etiquette classes, backed up by the real thing atop the Westin Sundial in downtown Atlanta, help with the girls' development, Nichols said.
Johnson, 13, received the Diamonds of Excellence award for her attendance, scholarly successes and community service, which reached up to the three core values the club strives to instill in its members: faith, hope and charity.
Copeland addressed the audience after presenting the award, running down a scroll of accolades for Johnson with her ability to mediate conflict at the top.
"This girl can bring people together," he said. "She is a tremendous communicator."
Copeland had some praise for the group's executive director as well, complimenting her for the realization of her inspiring concept.
"It's just amazing what Karen Nichols has done in such a short time," he said. "She took a concept and proceeded in enabling the next generation of leaders to learn skills on a day to day basis."
The ceremony was run by the young women as they stepped up to the podium, making announcements, giving a history of the club, and providing some entertainment.
Chanita Coleman, Bria Thompson, and Jazzmyne Thompson gracefully swept cross the ballroom floor in a liturgical dance.
Several girls were recognized for the Laws of Life Essay contest in which they picked a value important to them and elaborated on how they would implement it in others lives, Nichols said.
Nichols foresees the group being entirely run by its members eventually, where older members will lead the new ones in decisions for the future.
On the horizon for the group is a trip to South Africa, Nichols said.