By Johnny Jackson
The 40-member Southern Crescent Pearls Foundation, Inc., an affiliate of the Psi Alpha Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., will host a nine-month "cotillion" program for the area's college-bound students.
The foundation, created in November 2008, seeks to "provide scholarships to young ladies who are college bound while providing them with life skills that they are going to need getting into college, in college and beyond," said Southern Crescent Pearls Cotillion Chairperson Stephanie Oliver.
Many members of the sorority chapter, which has been in Clayton and Henry counties since 2005, are involved in the foundation.
The cotillion is a sort of leadership and social and professional etiquette program for rising female high school juniors and seniors.
Cotillion participants, or debutantes, must demonstrate upstanding moral and ethical standards, community involvement and have a grade-point average of at least 2.5.
"We're exposing them to a lot of things," Oliver said. "It is a nine-month debutante program where we take ladies in the community, and we teach them etiquette and interview skills."
The program, which kicks off on Aug. 15, and lasts through March 2010, will give participants the opportunity to travel and visit different area colleges and compete for scholarships.
The foundation plans to host two Southern Crescent Pearls Cotillion information meetings. The first will be held from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m., on March 21, at the Clayton County Library Headquarters, 865 Battlecreek Road in Jonesboro.
During the meeting, cotillion organizers will answer questions about the program and will provide would-be participants with applications and additional information.
The second information meeting will be held on April 25, from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m., at the same location.
Organizers will be accepting cotillion applications and half of the non-refundable application fee ($400 for debutantes/rising seniors, and $250 for junior debutantes/rising juniors).
Those interested in taking part can expect to "experience fun, cultural activities planned to enlighten your mind and enhance your high school experience while you compete for scholarships," Oliver said. "You will learn and grow with other young ladies who have the same ambition and love for the community, while creating lifelong memories and making friends you will cherish for a lifetime."
For more information about the cotillion, contact Oliver at (678) 485-6211, or visit the Southern Crescent Pearls Foundation web site.
On the net:
Pearls Foundation: www.southerncrescentpearlsfoundation.com