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Congr at u l ations

Corenthel Greene Platinum Member

The Phoenix Chapter of The Links, Incorporated


Welcome to the

Thirty-Third Biennial Cotillion

“The Unforgettable Princess� March 26, 2016

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“It is this belief in a power larger than myself and other than myself which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable.”

– Maya Angelou, author 2


Table of Contents Mayor of Phoenix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Mayor of Mesa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Honorary Co-Chair, Julia Patrick. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Honorary Co-Chair, Cloves Campbell, Jr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 The President’s Message. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 The Chairperson’s Message. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 The Phoenix Chapter of The Links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The Links’ Officers and Members. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 The Phoenix Links. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Cotillion Committees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Choreographer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Mistress of Ceremonies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Master of Ceremonies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Recipients of Philanthropic Contributions. . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Salutation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 About The Links, Incorporated. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Debutantes Jetaun Marie Booker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Katelyn Card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Melia Gail Cobb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Brooklynn Cooper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Anisha Lea Ann Cotton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Brianna Naomi Gaskins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Nyomi Hudson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Jaida Marqui Jackson-Campbell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Alicia Jordan Jamison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Alyssa Jones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Tyler Joulean Kyser. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Anne Akosua Durowaa Okrah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Ayanna Nichole Peterson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 Ashleigh Small . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Sabriya Cianné Smith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 Escorts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 Mother-Daughter Tea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 Debutante & Escort / Career-Finance Workshop. . . . . . 139 STEM Workshop / Service-2016 Komen Walk. . . . . . . . 140 2014 Debutantes and Escorts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 Rosebuds Poem - “Unfolding the Rosebud”. . . . . . . . . . . 142 Rosebuds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Acknowledgements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 General Ads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

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Honorary Co-Chair The third generation of Valley business leaders, Julia C. Patrick has pursued communications with a passion. As publisher and founder of publications such as Frontdoors News, Food & Flourish, The Wedding Chronicle and Great Wine News, she has been building business during times of incredible change within the industry. Patrick has led her publishing team through the digital print revolution and dawn of digital magazines while embracing multi-media communication in the new Information Age. Serving Arizona’s social, political and cultural leaders, Julia has the enviable position of covering the nation’s fifth largest city and its most prominent demographic. More than 50,000 online subscribers receive the award-winning Frontdoors News communications weekly. Editorial features in Frontdoors News cover a broad slate of topics that range from philanthropy and the arts, to cuisine and fashion. In 2014, Patrick founded the Arizona Nonprofit Academy which serves the philanthropic community. “When Arizona nonprofits win, we all win,” says Patrick.

Julia Patrick

Julia was raised in Phoenix, she attended Scottsdale High School and Claremont Men’s College in Southern California. She counts herself extremely fortunate to have studied with the Father of American Management, Peter F. Drucker. Her emphasis in college was Pacific Rim Economic History and Japanese Literati Painting. While attending CMC, Ms. Patrick was recruited by RH Macy’s Executive Development Program in San Francisco. Julia ultimately returned home to Arizona where she continued her involvement in retail, which oddly enough led her into publishing. She is passionate about communication in the digital age, nonprofit community building and the prospects of connecting readers to niche topics. It is through digital connectivity that Ms. Patrick reaches out to foster and develop greater connectivity and involvement. “We are living in a time of great change and challenge,” Julia says, “with that comes a tremendous need for social stewardship and leadership capital.” This sense of community has led Julia to serve as a member of the board of directors of Sojourner Center (2005 to 2012) the nation’s largest domestic violence shelter, Charter 100, Valley Leadership Class 36 and as an elected trustee of Arizona Opera (2006 to 2016). Patrick has been named Top 25 Businesswomen in Phoenix by the Phoenix Business Journal. The Girl Scouts honored her with the Woman of Distinction Award 2015. In March 2016, she served as the Honorary Co-Chair of the 33rd Biennial Charity Cotillion hosted by The Phoenix Chapter of The Links. Julia has been married to Jeffrey H. Jennings, a commercial real estate broker, for nearly 37 years. Together they have a 23-year old daughter, Camaley recently graduated from New York University and lives in Berlin. In her infrequent spare time, Ms. Patrick enjoys painting, beadwork, Arizona history and travel. She cries at opera, is an admittedly open Valley Booster, not to mention an avid baseball fan.

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Honorary Co-Chair Cloves Campbell, Jr. has spent his entire career with the Arizona Informant Newspaper, a family owned and operated publication in its 43rd year of publishing. As its publisher, the newspaper provides an important voice for the Arizona African American community. Mr. Campbell is active in many civic and business organizations. Currently, he is the executive director for Arizona Commission of African American Affairs. As previous chairman of National Newspaper Publisher Association, a federation of more than 200 Black-owned newspapers Campbell led a delegation of African American journalists to meet with Chinese and African government leaders and journalists in Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and Senegal. Campbell also served two consecutive terms in the Arizona State House of Representatives. His past and current civic and community board service includes; Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board, National Newspaper Publishers Association, Arizona Informant Foundation, Governor’s African-American Advisory Board, Attorney General’s African American Board, Arizona African American Legislative Days Coalition (founding member), Black Theatre Troupe, Mountain Park Health Association, South Mountain Community College Advisory Board, Travis L Williams Post 65, Tanner Chapel AME Church and the 100 Black Men of Phoenix. Campbell is also a member of the Greater Phoenix Urban League and a lifetime member of the NAACP. He has been the recipient of numerous recognition awards for his dedicated community service. Cloves attended Pitzer College and Darden School of Business at University of Virginia.

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Cloves C. Campbell, Jr.


President’s Message Greetings! On behalf of the Phoenix Chapter of the Links, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our 33rd Biennial Cotillion and offer my congratulations to the beautiful young ladies who will be presented. Our theme, “Unforgettable Princess� captures the essence of the beauty and talent of these young ladies. These Debutantes are being recognized tonight for their demonstrated accomplishments to their school, church and community. The Phoenix Chapter is proud to have served the Valley with transformational, sustainable programs for over 60 years. The Links is one of the oldest and largest volunteer service organizations in the country. The membership consists of over 12,000 professional women of color in 275 chapters located in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The Cotillion is one of our signature initiative through our Services to Youth facet.

Linda Groomes Walton

We salute and thank the parents of our debutantes for setting the foundation and then allowing us the opportunity to work with their daughters for the last eight months. This year, we introduced a new aspect to our process, honorary chairpersons. A special thanks goes out to Mrs. Julia Patrick and Mr. Cloves Campbell who believed in our efforts, agreed to serve as our inaugural honorary chairpersons and assisted us in broadening our community outreach. The Cotillion committee, led by Ms. Lovie West, have planned and executed a number of enrichment experiences that will be remembered over the lifetime of the debutantes. I want to express my sincere appreciation to Lovie and all of my Link sisters for your dedication and hard work to ensure another successful Cotillion season. And finally, to the Debutantes, thank you for your participation, and we wish you much success in your future endeavors. Warmest regards, Linda Groomes Walton, President Phoenix Chapter of the Links

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General Chairperson’s Message The Phoenix Chapter of The Links’ Cotillion Steering Committee delights in welcoming you to the Thirty-Third Biennial Debutante Ball. It is our pleasure to present to the Phoenix Community fifteen (15) gifted, young ladies of African American descent. Each debutante in her own right has earned the title of being The Unforgettable Princess. 2016 debutantes, tonight is your special night. This event marks a significant milestone in your lives because you have demonstrated a spirit of excellence, exceptional character, scholastic achievement, and service to our community. Your life transition through the Rites of Passage Ceremony anchored a cornerstone, connecting your roots from our motherland to our current day existence. We acknowledge you as future leaders and are honored to share in your personal and professional development. Tonight is also an accomplishment for the parents, guardians and families of the debutantes. You have inspired these young ladies to greatness by instilling in them the skills and compassion necessary to break through “glass ceilings” on all fronts. We thank and applaud you for your guidance, patience, and enduring spirit which helped to make the Cotillion a success. We also thank the parents of the escorts. Your training has instilled in your sons the refinement required to be chosen as escorts. Congratulations to the Rosebuds for your participation in this year’s cotillion season. We extend a special wish for success in your future academic and personal growth. Remember, in order to become a beautiful rose, you must first become a rosebud. To the Phoenix Community and to all who have supported our debutantes, we say thank you. We encourage your commitment to enhance the lives of these young ladies. We believe it still takes a village to rear a child! I extend a special thank you to the Cotillion Steering Committee, especially my three consultants, Maria Humphries, Joy Johnson, and Joan Sherwood. You have given unwavering dedication to this most important event. Thank you to all the members of the Phoenix Chapter of The Links, Inc., especially our president, Linda Groomes Walton. Finally we say “thank you” to our honorary chairs, Julia Patrick and Clovis C. Campbell, Jr. Your support and commitment to the 2016 Cotillion have added to its success.

Lovie West, Cotillion Chairperson Phoenix Chapter of the Links

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Lovie West


2015-2016 Phoenix Chapter of The Links

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The Links Officers and Members Officers

President Vice-President of Membership Vice-President of Programming Recording Secretary Corresponding Secretary Treasurer Financial Secretary Parliamentarian Archivist Immediate Past President

Linda Groomes Walton Joy Johnson Joan Sherwood Cheryl Pete Maria Humphries Tonette Echols Lindell Collins Jennifer Harper Lois Walker Kay Oliver

Members

Shirley Mays Thelma Lovette Morris Annye Nichols Angel Okrah Beatrice Olivier Tina Parish Renee Scott Ceeon Smith Geneva Spigner Martha Stewart Cherylyn Strong Holly Underwood Dene Wallace Lovie West Camilla Westenberg Traci Williams

Beverly Arrington Rosalyn Baxter-Jones Gina Bowser Shari Burkholder Joyce Daily-Buford Eula Dean Mavis Edwards Corenthel Greene Judy Greene Michele Halyard Ann Hart Dana Jamison Jalila Jefferson-Bullock Rosalyn Keith Marjorie Kyle Ann-Marie Lee

Alumnae

Norma Reagin Carolyn Robinson Laura Rooks Juanita Scott Grace Strauther Ann Wade Mary Wright

Winstona Aldridge Margaret Baylor Juanita Clardy Gwendolyn Goodman Ella Holland Joan Kelly Annette McHenry

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The Phoenix Links

Beverly Arrington

Rosalyn Baxter-Jones

Gina Bowser

Shari Burkholder

Lindell Collins

Joyce Daily-Buford

Eula Dean

Tonette Echols

Mavis Edwards

Corenthel Greene

Judy Greene

Michele Halyard

Jennifer Harper

Ann Hart

Maria Humphries

Dana Jamison

Jalila Jefferson-Bullock

Joy Johnson

Rosalyn Keith

Marjorie Kyle

Shirley Mays

Thelma Lovette Morris

Annye Nichols

Angel Okrah

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The Phoenix Links

Kay Oliver

Beatrice Olivier

Tina Parish

Cheryl Pete

Renee Scott

Joan Sherwood

Ceeon Smith

Geneva Spigner

Martha Stewart

Cherylyn Strong

Holly Underwood

Lois Walker

Dene Wallace

Linda Groomes Walton

Lovie West

Camilla Westenberg

Traci Williams

Photos Unavailable Ann-Marie Lee

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Cotillion Committees General Chair Linda Groomes Walton

Cotillion Chair Lovie West

Consultants Maria Humphries Joy Johnson Joan Sherwood

Time and Place

Poise/Etiquette Workshop Eula Dean, Etiquette Chair Tracey Walker-Banks, Poise Chair Corenthel Greene Dana Jamison Rosalyn Keith

Finance/Careers Workshop Tonette Echols, Chair Angel Okrah Traci Williams

Lovie West

STEM Workshop

Publicity/ Photography

Ann-Marie Lee, Chair Angel Okrah Holly Underwood

Camilla Westenberg, Chair Joyce Daily-Buford Lois Walker Ceeon Smith

Mother/ Daughter Tea

Fundraiser Michele Halyard, Chair Kay Oliver Linda Groomes Walton

Finances/Budget Tonette Echols, Chair Traci Williams, Chair Mavis Edwards Maria Humphries Beatrice Olivier

Recruitment/ Orientation Dene Wallace, Chair Annye Nichols Geneva Spigner

Service Project Gina Bowser, Chair Ann-Marie Lee Shirley Mays

Joy Johnson, Chair Maria Humphries Marjorie Kyle Thelma Lovette Morris Martha Stewart

Deb/Escorts Party

Awards Thelma Lovette Morris, Chair Michele Halyard Jennifer Harper Cheryl Pete

Escorts/Presenters Lindell Collins, Chair Gina Bowser Marjorie Kyle Beatrice Olivier

Living History Camilla Westenberg, Chair Joyce-Daily-Buford Shari Burkholder Lindell Collins Corenthel Greene Rosalyn Keith Angel Okrah Joan Sherwood

Rites of Passage Joy Johnson Shirley Mays Angel Okrah Cherylyn Strong

Jalila Jefferson-Bullock, Chair Dana Jamison

Hostesses

Editing

Thelma Morris, Chair Corenthel Greene Lois Walker

Marjorie Kyle, Chair Shari Burkholder Joy Johnson Joan Sherwood Ceeon Smith Camilla Westenberg

Decorations Renee Scott, Chair Mavis Edwards Corenthel Greene

Souvenir Book/Invitations

Rosebuds

Joy Johnson Marjorie Kyle Maria Humphries Beatrice Olivier Lovie West Traci Williams

Lois Walker, Co-Chair Traci Williams, Co-Chair Eula Dean Ann Hart Shirley Mays Tina Parish

Workshop General Chair Judy Greene

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Choreographer A native of Arizona, Gina Stephens has choreographed for the Phoenix Chapter of Links, Incorporated, Biennial Charity Cotillion for thirty years. Gina has been taught styles and techniques of a wide range of choreographic artists, including Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Clay Taliaferro and Rudy Perez. Having chosen to reside in the Valley, she received awards and scholarships in her craft, established herself as a freelance choreographer, and has performed with a local dance company. Ms. Stephens holds two degrees from Arizona State University, a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance (Performance and Choreography), and a Master of Education (Higher Education). She is also certified in Guidance Counseling. Ms. Stephens currently continues a successful career in higher education. Following 20 years employed at Arizona State University, which included service as Assistant Dean for the Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts, she now continues in a leadership role with Northern Arizona University.

Gina Stephens

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Mistress of Ceremonies Susan Casper is the charming and compassionate host of Sonoran Living on ABC15. She is a proud military brat who had the privilege of spending much of her childhood growing up on Spangdahlem Air Force Base in Germany where her creative imagination began to flourish. Susan’s love for journalism began when she was just a young girl. Her first gig was reporting and producing a video for her elementary school at Eglin AFB. After interviewing her 4th grade classmates, faculty and staff for an entire week, Susan knew this was the career for her. Susan is a 1990 graduate from the University of West Florida (UWF) in Pensacola where she earned a B.A. degree in Broadcast Journalism. She also won UWF’s first ever Society of Professional Journalism national award, a William Randolph Hearst award, and numerous regional and state journalism titles.

Susan Casper

From sports to weather to one-man-band, Susan has done it all in her more than 20 year broadcast news career. Among her accomplishments is being the first AfricanAmerican woman to anchor a primetime newscast in Tampa. She joined ABC15 News in 2008 as an anchor and reporter before moving to Sonoran Living, the longest running television lifestyle show in Phoenix. Susan has a passion for helping others. When she is not hosting you will find Susan helping out in the community as a motivational speaker, volunteer and advocate for women and girls. Susan is the newest executive board member of Dress for Success Phoenix and a founding member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Phoenix Metropolitan Chapter. Susan and her husband, Sidney, are the proud parents of twin girls. Keep your eyes peeled, you are bound to see this die hard sports family attending a basketball, football, baseball or hockey game around town. You can catch Susan on Sonoran Living weekdays at 9am on ABC15. Contact Susan on Facebook, Twitter or via email at scasper@abc15.com.

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Master of Ceremonies Marion Kelly serves as Director for the Office of Community & Business Relations at Mayo Clinic. In this role, Mr. Kelly provides leadership for the organizations’ efforts to build solid neighbor, civic and corporate relationships. In addition to providing leadership in Community Affairs, he is also responsible for partnering with the Mayo Clinic Department of Development corporate investment initiative to fund the Mayo Medical School in Arizona. Mr. Kelly’s broad experiences are in both the education and political arena. His experiences include teaching elementary education, working in the United States Senate, Indiana University School of Medicine Administration and Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs at Mayo Medical School. Mr. Kelly was an appointee in the first Bush White House administration as Special Assistant for At Risk Youth Initiatives at the United States Department of Labor, and as the White House Liaison for the Labor Department. Mr. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Kentucky State University. He has completed additional graduate coursework in Psychology at Indiana University. He serves his local community as Founder/Board Member, Diversity Leadership Alliance, Past Chair - National Multiple Sclerosis Society Board, Board member of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as Community Celebrating Diversity Board. Marion is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated and a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Gamma Mu Boule. He is married to Francine Ellison Kelly. They have three children, Kristopher (31), Ericka (27) and Kyle (26). However, their three grandchildren Raleigh Drew, Kameron Ross and Paisley Olivia Maria run their household.

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Marion Kelly


Recipient of Philanthropic Contributions CBBC, Coalition of Blacks Against Breast Cancer COBA, Consortium of Black Organizations and Others for the Arts Dr. Lincoln J. Ragsdale Memorial Scholarship at ASU George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center Sojourner Center Creative and Performing Arts Katrina Families Assistance Fund Organ Transplant Fund Amos Okrah School in Ghana Academy of Excellence in Phoenix Tanner Gardens The Greater Phoenix Urban League Heard Museum Maricopa Branch NAACP HBCU Phoenix Boys Choir The Links Reading Academy Valley Wide Scholarship Programs Black Family and Child Services Mission of Mercy Scholarships for Students

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The Phoenix Chapter of The Links, Incorporated SALUTES the

2016 Debutantes and Escorts May You Always Remember

“The Unforgettable Princess” 19


About The Links, Incorporated The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of nearly 14,000 professional women of color in 282 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Inc. has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation. The organization is the recipient of awards from the UN Association of New York and the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation for its premier programs. The outstanding programming of The Links, Incorporated has five facets which include Services to Youth; The Arts; National Trends and Services; International Trends and Services; and Health and Human Services. The programs are implemented through strategies such as public information and education, economic development, and public policy campaigns.

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Program Thirt y-Third Biennial Cotillion M arch 2 6 , 2016

Welcome

Linda Groomes Walton, President

Greetings

Lovie West, Chairperson

Invocation

ttstt Dinner ttstt Eula Dean

Introduction of Presenters

Joy Johnson, Debutantes Consultant

Mistress & Master of Ceremonies Susan Casper & Marion Kelly

“The Unforgettable Princess” Presentation of the 2016 Debutantes Susan Casper & Marion Kelly

Grand Entrance Debutantes

“Unforgettable”-101 Strings Orchestra Debutantes “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”-BP Studio Musicians Debutantes & Fathers/Presenters “The Way You Look Tonight ”-Kenny G Debutantes & Escorts

Scholarship Awards Martha Stewart

Special Presentation

Heir-O-Links Alicia Jamison & Anne Okrah

Closing Remarks

Linda Groomes Walton & Lovie West

Dancing for Debutantes, Escorts, Parents and Guests

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Debutante Jetaun M arie Booker Jetaun Marie Booker is a senior at Chandler High School where she is a member of the International Baccalaureate Program. Jetaun is the recipient of many awards recognizing her academic achievements, including: the Top 5 Percent of the Junior Class Award, an Academic Award for having a 4.0 GPA, member of the National Society of High School Scholars and National Honor Society. Additionally, she has participated in the Barrett Summer Scholars Program and Mayor Jay Tibshraeny’s Leadership Academy. Jetaun has completed more than 100 hours of community service during her junior and senior years. As a member of the American Diabetes Association’s Youth Leadership Council, Jetaun is an advocate for diabetes awareness, education and prevention. A Chicago native, Jetaun has set her sights on attending Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana, as a pre-med major before continuing on to medical school at either Johns Hopkins University or Georgetown University. Although she has been accepted at Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, University of Dayton and Howard University, Xavier has offered her a full tuition scholarship for her entire undergraduate years. Jetaun is preparing for her future in medicine by taking a two-year class called Medical Professions. At the end of this course, she will be able to take an exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Ultimately, she aspires to become a physician and establish a practice as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist on the East Coast as well as start a family of her own. Jetaun is a recipient of the Links’ Academic Scholarship Award.

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Debutante Jetaun M arie Booker

Daughter of Dr. Danielle Gilliam and Mr. John Booker Escorted by: Malik Hunt Son of Ms. Denise Underwood

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Debutante Jetaun M arie Booker

G o l d Sp o n s o r s Dr. Danielle Gilliam and Mr. Jimmy Whiteside, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. John G. and Kalunda Booker The Gilliam and Holmes Family Pastor Sherman Joel Fort at Canaan Missionary Baptist The Word Church

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Dr. Romona L. Davis-Boudreaux at Kids Dental Center

Miss Michelle McBroom

Dr. Holly Underwood

Mr. Lloyd Allen and Mrs. Tika Degraffenreid - ProSmart Realty

Mrs. Diane Anthony

Mrs. Ebonye Zeno

Thomas R. Frazier, Jr., Lynette Washington, Thomas R. Frazier, Sr. and Dr. Susan B. Frazier

Mr. and Mrs. Delan and Victoria Knight

Mr. Walter McFarland

Mr. and Mrs. Phil and Felicia James

Mrs. Tina and Mr. Ralph Jones

Mr. and Mrs. Harvey and Diane Alexander

Mrs. Michelle D. Beckles

Pat r o n s Mrs. Thomasina Johnson and Mrs. Alechia Alotbi

Ms. Dorian Phillips

Mrs. Crystal and Mr. Norbert Isbell

Mr. Troy Goudeau at Youth Movement, LLC

Mr. Curt Alexander

Dr. Sheryl Simms at Urban Optique & Eyecare

Mr. Madison Edwards and Ms. Monique McDonald

Mrs. Sinita and Mr. Jay Benson

Ms. Marla Johnson

Dr. Yvette Jetaun Gilliam

Ms. Jeane’ Blair

Ms. Tammy Lewis

Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Curry

Ms. Nzinga Ajanaku

Mr. and Mrs. Clark M. Chasten II

Mrs. Gloria Williams at Canaan Missionary Baptist Church

Mr. and Mrs. Shaun and Otissa Johnson

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“I’m thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.”

– Alex Elle, author

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“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.”

– Dr. Mae Jemison, astronaut 33


Debutante Kately n C ard Katelyn Card is a junior at Westview High School in Avondale, Arizona. She has maintained honor roll status throughout her high school career while being an active member of numerous clubs including: Black Student Union, French Club, Fashion/FCCLA Club, Chemistry Club, Close Up and Student Council. In addition to her academic excellence, Katelyn has participated in volleyball, plays the saxophone, and is involved with Best Buddies, a club that focuses on the students with special needs at school. Since the age of four, Katelyn participated in various dances which include: tap, baton, ballet, jazz, hip hop, pom, and lyrical. She has also participated in the church choir. When she moved to Arizona in 2010, her focus shifted to volleyball. Katelyn is excited to follow in the footsteps of her older sisters (each former debutantes in their home state of Ohio) by participating in the 2016 Phoenix Links Cotillion. In her free time, Katelyn enjoys reading, writing, and singing although it may not be appealing to the ears. Katelyn aspires to become a fashion designer and wishes to publish her own magazine. In pursuit of that goal, she recently participated in 3 Days of Fashion at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise, FIDM, in San Diego, California, this past summer.

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Debutante Kately n C ard

daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Corwin and Wylia Hartman and Mr. Brian Card Escorted by: Armani Jackson Son of Mrs. Yolanda Suell

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Debutante Kately n C ard

S i lv e r Sp o n s o r s Deliah Volpe

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Phyllis Smollens Mr. Brian Card

Pat r o n s Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie and Denise Owens Mr. Craig and Mrs. Shavonda Massey Veronica Liles

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“Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.”

– Congresswoman Carol Moseley-Braun 41


Debutante Melia Gail Cob b Melia Gail Cobb is the daughter of Lisa Cobb. Melia came into this world July 30, 1998, in Alexandria, VA. She was an inquisitive and bright little girl that was extremely determined and very headstrong, which to this day has set her in the right direction. Today, Melia is a senior at Sandra Day O’Connor High School (SDOC) in Phoenix, Arizona, where she is an excelling student and will graduate this May, 2016. Melia has a passion and the compassion for helping those in need. She is currently enrolled in the very competitive Deer Valley Unified District’s Nursing Program where she was selected out of hundreds. To continue her passion for the medical field, Melia will be attending the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, this fall and majoring in Nursing/Health Administration. She has not yet decided which specialty of medicine she would like to focus; however, she is open to exploring all areas to find her particular interest. Melia’s extracurricular activities are basketball; marching and concert band; and Jack and Jill of America, Inc. She has played for the SDOHS Girls Varsity Basketball Team for 4 years where she received The Most Improved Player Award. Currently she is on the SDOHS’ Girls Varsity Team. In the off-season, Melia plays basketball for the Arizona Lady Rebels Traveling Club Basketball Team. Melia is and has been a member for the SDOHS’ Marching and Concert Band for 4 years where she plays clarinet. During the 2015 Marching Band Season, the SDOHS Marching Band won the Arizona State Championship and performed live during collegiate and professional football games. Melia has been a member of Jack and Jill of America for 12 years and is currently serving as President of the Teen Group of Phoenix, Arizona for the 2015-16 program year. She takes pride in performing her duties in this office! In addition to serving as president of the teen chapter, Melia is a committee member of the Nominating Committee for the Regional Teen Board of Jack and Jill of America. Prior to serving as president of the Teen Group, Melia served as the Vice President (2014-15 program year) and Treasurer (2013-14 program year). Melia has been an active member in the community by serving in the Girl Scouts of USA for 9 years where she reached the level of Senior Cadette and sold THOUSANDS of boxes of girl scout cookies!! Melia has also served her community by volunteering for many organizations which include: #HashTag Lunch bag, Phoenix Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Black Family & Child Services of Arizona, Clean-Up San Diego, Back to School Back Pack Drive of Phoenix, PF Chang Arizona Rock & Roll Marathon Medical Tent, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure as well as several other community organizations. In her spare time, Melia loves to babysit her little friends of Jack and Jill, spend time with her family and friends, play basketball, read books of all genres and listen to music. Melia loves the saying by Maya Angelou: “You will face many defeats in your life, but never ever let yourself be defeated.”

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Debutante Melia Gail Cob b

daughter of Ms. Lisa Cobb Escorted by: Demonte Jackson Son of Mr. Dwight Jackson

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Debutante Melia Gail Cob b

G o l d Sp o n s o r s Mr. and Mrs. Edward Greer Mr. William D. Lyle and Family

S i lv e r Sp o n s o r s Joy Johnson, A Joyous Event Jack and Jill, Inc – Phoenix Chapter (members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.)

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Dr. Robert and Mrs. Marie Scott Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Mrs. Leah Landrum-Taylor Miss. Morgan and Miss Maya Cobb Ms. Elaine Williams Dr. Mark and Mrs. Rachelle Chambers Miller Russell Associates

Pat r o n s Ms. Dana Brooks and Family Ms. Tracee Frazier Mr. and Mrs. Darren Nowlin and Family Jack and Jill Teens Mr. Jonathan Johnson

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Dear Melia – This journey of ours has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life. From the moment that I met you on July 30, 1998, you have been a complete Angel. I will be honest and admit not every moment has been “angelic”, but you have given me a whole new meaning to life. You make the name “Mommy” resonate with me in such a way that I cannot explain. You are an awesome daughter, sister, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend. As your Mother, I wish you the absolute best in life and I plan to always be there to offer you support, guidance and love in every endeavor in your life. You will never be without your Mother as your guide and your friend! You got this girlfriend! Now, GO GET’EM!

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Congratulations to Melia and Alyssa! From all your friends in the Jack and Jill

het aT gm Si lta De

Melia – the ladies of DST with the Phoenix Chapter of Jack & Jill want to congratulate you and wish you so much success! We hope to see you on the other side!! Ooop-oooop!!

a

Teen Chapter of Phoenix, we wish you the absolute best

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Lurlyn, Jalila, LaShun, Mina, Megan, Monet, Sharee, Lisa, & Denise


Truly, you embody the theme, "The Unforgettable Princess" as I have watched you grow from an adorable little girl to a lovely young lady! Always, carrying yourself with tremendous grace, you are truly a role model for all young ladies to admire and emulate. Tonight is a special time to honor you for your dedication, hard work and persistence, and to celebrate the many unique qualities that you possess.You have done well! Remember to always carry God in everything that you do and He will direct your paths. I look forward to seeing your future unfold because I know that greatness awaits you. May God bless & keep you always! Love Always,

Joy Johnson

Cong�at�lations to our favorite babysitter, Melia!! Love from the Landr�m Taylor Family!!

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We love you Melia, You are the best BIG sister ever! Your Sisters, Morgan & Maya Congratulations Melia Cobb “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.� -Maya Angelou Melia, we know that you will continue to be a successful and powerful young woman. Congratulations on your graduation from high school and Jack & Jill. We wish you the best in your studies at the University of Arizona.

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Congratulations Melia on your many successes!! This is just the beginning! Love, TroyElan & Elaine

“There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.”

– Michelle Obama, First Lady

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Congratulations to my friend, Melia Cobb! Phoenix Chapter of the Links 2016 Debutante

To the worlds greatest babysitter We love you, Melia! To the worlds greatest babysitter We love you, Melia! Brittany, DJ, and the Nowlin Family Brittany, DJ, and the Nowlin Family 53


Debutante B rookly nn Cooper Brooklynn Cooper is more than proud to be a Jaguar at Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, Arizona. She likes her school and being an active student. Junior year has provided a generous amount of new experiences. Brook is and has been a participant of many clubs, some of which include: Sports Medicine, Interact, Interact District Council, Spanish Club, Best Buddies, Cross Country, and Anytown. Within the 2015-16 school year, she dedicated a majority of her time to her school’s student council as a hard-working representative with a great deal of responsibility to help plan school events while committing to community service activities. Brooklynn spent countless hours after school to do any work that was club related to prove her dedication. She learned many new strategies on how to stay organized and communicate with others professionally. Brooklynn has committed her time to two new clubs, Sports Medicine and Interact District Council. She works at school games under the supervision of athletic trainers and/or experienced students, gaining first-hand experience on how to assess physical agility for Sports Medicine. She is in love with the hands on experience and is looking forward to learning more at EVIT in her senior year. Interact District Council is new to her this year through Rotary International. This program focuses on planning leadership camps, conferences, and networking throughout the country. Brooklynn is a member of both the Spanish Club and Traveling Spanish Club. She enjoyed traveling to Puerto Rico a great deal and is now preparing to explore Europe during the summer of 2016. She is going beyond graduation expectations, enrolling in her third year of Spanish, and earning dual credit as part of the experience. In her free time, Brooklynn enjoys spending time with her older sister Alexis and friends. Her goal after high school is to attend college and become a Sports Medicine Physician.

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Debutante B rookly nn Cooper

daughter of Ms. Debra Cooper and Mr. John Cooper Escorted by: Saxton Simmons Son of Mr. and Mrs. Enoch and Dawn Simmons

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Debutante B rookly nn Cooper

S i lv e r Sp o n s o r s Ms. Arlene Phillips

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Bishop Henry Phillips Carter Travis Tracy Williams Trinity Chandler Ella Mae Young Julian Burns Wyndell Brewer Christine Green

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Debutante Anisha Lea ann Cotton Anisha Lea Ann Cotton is an exceptional young lady. In the last few years, her family and friends have had the pleasure of witnessing her exceptional and exponential growth academically and spiritually. Anisha exemplifies all of the qualities of a successful, young, beautiful woman who is capable of using her intellectual abilities in a variety of settings. She has served in many capacities, primarily working with younger children. Her time volunteering in the classroom and in day care facilities has instilled a great amount of patience and esteem. Because of this, Anisha has come to the realization that she would like to carry the family torch by pursing a degree in education. Her spiritual life is as important to her as her academics, and she neglects neither. She is willing to assist in any way, and enjoys watching the fruit of her labor. In all of her giftedness, Anisha continues to excel and meet the demands of civil responsibility, and seeks to encourage those who are around her. Currently, she is on the Cambridge Track at Willow Canyon High School, where she is a junior. She aspires to follow in her sisters’ footsteps and attend the University of Arizona upon graduation. Her high spirits and charisma are what define her as truly exceptional. Anisha also loves the simple things in life. Reading a good book or watching a game of baseball are some of her favorite pastimes, along with making her famous baked goods. When she graduates, she will embark on a new journey, taking with her all of the characteristics instilled in her as a child: respect, responsibility, caring, citizenship, fairness, and trustworthiness.

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Debutante Anisha Lea ann Cotton

daughter of Drs. Rick and Deborah Cotton Escorted by: Nicholas Anthony Crump Son of Ms. Tahesha Collins

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Debutante Anisha Lea ann Cotton

S i lv e r Sp o n s o r s Dr. Eula Saxon Dean

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Pastor Charl McRae Ms. Grace Strauther Mrs. Victoria Jones Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Beta Omega Chapter

Pat r o n s Ms. Karen Atkinson Mrs. Marlene Hannsberry Mrs. Cara Weddington Mitchell’s Barber and Beauty Supply Elite Greek, LLC

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To Our Darling Daughter Anisha, We write this not only for ourselves, but your sisters as well. I can remember bringing you home that first day…so small and seeming so much in need of someone to love you. You instantly became a part of this family, and I can’t imagine this family without you in it. Over the years we have watched you grow and develop into a young lady with a personality all your own, but one that fits with the other personalities in this family. I think it’s because I can see a bit of each of us in you, and that’s what family is about. Family helps define who we are but doesn’t limit us on what we can become. We are also grateful for what you’ve given to us. You’ve made us laugh when you imitated your mother and you’ve made us angry when you act like a typical sixteen year old; and we have loved every minute of it. Most importantly we have watched your relationship with the Lord grow as well. You are a quiet person when it comes to your personal life, but I have seen you express your love of God and I know as you continue to grow in Him you will understand the calling on your life. You are such a strong, intelligent, and caring young lady and your future is limitless. We all watch in eager anticipation as you fulfill your Divine destiny.

Your Loving Family,

Dad, Mom, Eboni, and Erica.

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“Trust yourself. Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Speak for yourself. Be yourself. Imitation is suicide..”

– Marva Collins, American educator

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“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”

– Maya Angelou, author 63


Debutante Brianna Naomi Gaskin s Brianna Naomi Gaskins is a senior at Agua Fria High School in Avondale, Arizona, where she holds a 4.0 GPA. As a freshman at Agua Fria, Brianna was determined to earn a position on the Cheer Squad. She not only achieved this goal, but was instrumental in leading the squad to the 2014 regional and national cheer competitions. As a junior, Brianna was accepted to the West-MEC Medical Assistant Program (a two-year program for high school students who aspire to pursue careers in the medical field). She made the difficult decision to step away from the cheer squad to join the rigorous program in exchange for the opportunity to embark on the path toward her lifelong dream of becoming a pediatric surgeon. This decision was definitely the right one for her as she recently placed 7th out of 269 across the state of Arizona on the HOSA Medical Assisting Exam. She now qualifies for the HOSA State competition. Brianna is active in her community and in her church. Her activities have included feeding the homeless and volunteering with “Feed My Starving Children” and Tanner Gardens. Additionally, Brianna serves concurrently as Local President and 5th District Recording Secretary of the Young People’s Department (YPD) of the Sarah E. Tanner Missionary Society at the Historic Tanner Chapel A.M.E. Church. During her time in YPD, Brianna has taken on the role of mentoring and ensures she is always available when others need her advice or assistance. She enjoys singing in the TYC Choir, serving on the Youth Usher Board and attending Church School. In July 2015, Brianna traveled with 30 church members to the 18th Quadrennial Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she served on the Debate Team, debating the topic “Cyber Bullying”. The team won the 1st round and placed 3rd out of all Districts. After completing her high school diploma and the West-Mec Medical Assistant Program, Brianna looks forward to attending school at Northern Arizona University where she has been accepted.

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Debutante Brianna Naomi Gaskin s

daughter of Mr. Randy and Rev. Tonya V. Taylor Escorted by: Travion Ayers Son of Ms. Erica Golden

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Debutante Brianna Naomi Gaskin s

S i lv e r Sp o n s o r s Ms. Inga M. Gaskins

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B

rianna we can’t express in enough words how proud of you we are. This experience and your accomplishments have been phenomenal. As you near the end of your Senior Year, our prayer is for you to continue on your journey that has always been led and orchestrated by the hands of God. Remember to never look back, look forward to the blessings ahead. We love you and look forward to the next step, College Bound. Love you,

Mommy & Randy

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“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman, abolitionist, humanitarian 69


Debutante Nyomi Hud son Nyomi Hudson is a junior at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy (SPA) which offers an academically rigorous program. Here all courses are honor courses except Music and Art. She maintains a 4.07 GPA. Nyomi is active in several school activities. She has participated on the SPA’s basketball, soccer, track and field, and cross country teams. As a sophomore, Nyomi and her teammates led SPA’s cross country team to a second place finish in the state championship. A talented vocalist, Nyomi discovered her passion for music at a very young age, and has performed with the Bella Voce Women’s Choir at many school events. Nyomi also attended the National Student Leadership Conference (NSCL) at Northwestern University for the Medicine and Health Care Program. Nyomi also enjoys helping others. Her volunteer service includes serving the homeless at Andre House, a Phoenix-based homeless shelter, and aiding competitive swimmers in the local Special Olympics. As a freshman, Nyomi joined a friend in launching a nonprofit, 501(c) (3) organization, Hudson Heroes, Inc., with the mission of restoring the lost normalcy in the lives of children with terminal illnesses. The organization mobilizes student volunteers who connect with and inspire children in Phoenix-area hospitals. This organization was formed in honor of Nyomi’s sister, Danielle, who passed away earlier that year. After completing her high school education, Nyomi aspires to attend: Johns Hopkins, Northwestern University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or other universities to pursue a career in the medical field. Nyomi is a recipient of the Links’ Academic Scholarship Award.

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Debutante Nyomi Hud son

daughter of Honorable Judge Wilbur and Mrs. Olivia Hudson Escorted by: Anteaus Vedrene Son of Ms. Michelle Gray and Mr. Kwane Vedrene

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Debutante Nyomi Hud son

G o l d Sp o n s o r s Mr. and Mrs. Edward and Lori Taylor

S i lv e r Sp o n s o r s Mr. and Mrs. Oliver and Erescene Stokes

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Mr. Robert Simmons Mr. Kurt Mangum Mr. Maurice Alexander Dr. Holly Underwood

Pat r o n s Life Choices Professional Group, LLC

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Debutante Jaida Marqui Jackson-Campbell Jaida Marqui Jackson-Campbell is a senior at Desert Vista High School, where she serves as treasurer of the Black Student Union and is a talented athlete. Jaida has competed in gymnastics and is a member of the track and field and volleyball teams. Her track events include the high jump, the 100m, 200m, and the 4x1, running as the anchor. In volleyball at Desert Vista, she played as outside hitter, middle hitter, and defense specialist. While Jaida found the track and field exciting, volleyball is her true passion. She has focused her athletic energy on the court, participating as a club volleyball player for the past four years (Club Spiral and Club Aspire), and most recently served as team captain. Additionally, Jaida has worked as a junior referee for USA Region volleyball tournaments. Off the court, Jaida enjoys food, spending time with family and friends, tutoring people in math (her favorite subject), and attending family gatherings. She is proud of her Jamaican roots from her father’s side of the family and is focused on learning to speak Patwa, called Jamaican Creole by linguists. Her maternal grandmother, mother and aunt are former debutantes, and Jaida is excited to continue the family tradition. She especially looks forward to the personal growth and development that her debutante experience will bring. After graduation, Jaida looks forward to attending college at the University of Arizona or Northern Arizona University. While in school, she hopes to embrace an opportunity to become an assistant coach for a club volleyball team. Jaida naturally excels in math and science but has not yet decided on her optimal major. She has, however, narrowed her academic interests to forensic accounting and nuclear medicine technology.

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Debutante Jaida Marqui Jackson-Campbell

daughter of Ms. Jamesha Jackson and Mr. Kevin Campbell Escorted by: Kendrick Isaiah Jerome Stevenson Son of Ms. Michelle Mateen

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“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”

– George Washington Carver 76


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Debutante Alicia Jordan Ja mison Alicia Jordan Jamison is a senior at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale where she maintains a GPA of 3.85 and takes all Honors and Advanced Placement courses. Alicia is an active member of the Chaparral community with membership in Student Government as the senior class vice-president and previously the Student Body Public Relations Director her junior year. She is also a member of the Purple Society (a childhood cancer awareness group), the president of the Unitown Leadership and Diversity Club, a member of the Calculus Club, a Best buddy to special needs students and also mentors freshmen through a program called TYRO mentoring. Alicia’s biggest commitment over the years has been soccer. She spent the last ten years playing for Sereno, a nationally ranked elite soccer club, where she was often one of the leading scorers. She has been on the Chaparral Varsity Soccer team since freshman year and is now the captain and leading scorer. In her spare time Alicia likes to write music on her piano and records her compositions when she has the opportunity. She also has become a videographer both composing and producing videos for her soccer team, school activities and other organizations. Alicia is looking forward to attending New York University where she will study Global Public Health and Nutrition at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and may play soccer. One of Alicia’s inspirations for life is the quote: “O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; What good amid these, O me, O life?” “Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”

–Walt Whitman

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Debutante Alicia Jordan Ja mison

daughter of Mr. Alexander B. and Dr. Dana A. Jamison Escorted by: Braxton Lee Underwood Son of Drs. Lee and Christina Underwood

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Debutante Alicia Jordan Ja mison

G o l d Sp o n s o r s Dr. Felicia Jamison

S i lv e r Sp o n s o r s Ms. Cheryl Pete Dr. Vietta Johnson and Dr. James L. Shepherd Jacqueline R. Hill, Esq. Dr. Felicia Jamison Dr. Robert & Mrs. Marie Scott

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Dr. Toni Stockton – Stockton Dermatology Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Beta Omega Chapter

Pat r o n s Eagles Reading Club Mr. Lewis and Mrs. Lois Walker Dr. Albert and Mrs. Beatrice Olivier Mrs. Mavis Edwards Mr. Orester and Mrs. Jennifer Harper

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“Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.”

– Susan L. Taylor, journalist

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“The first step is always the hardest but you will never regret it.”

– Old English Proverb 89


Debutante Alyssa Jones Alyssa Jones is a junior at BASIS Chandler, which was named the second most challenging school in the United States. Throughout her high school experience, she has taken Advanced Placement and Honors classes. Some of her favorite subjects in school are AP English and AP World History. Alyssa’s extra-curricular activities include active membership with the Key Club where she explores her passion for community volunteerism. Additionally, Alyssa is a viola player with her school’s Chamber Orchestra. Alyssa enjoys mentoring and nurturing pre-school and kindergarten children at New Vistas Center for Education. This experience has inspired Alyssa to choose a career path as an educator. Alyssa is an active member of the Phoenix Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Teen Group, where she has joined fellow members in a range of community service projects including: P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘N Roll Marathon and Half Marathon Medical Team, #Hashtag lunch bag and the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Alyssa attends Friendship Community Church where, as a member of the youth group, she has participated in mission trips to Mexico, and provided a variety of services for the community Seminary. Alyssa says what she most aspires to do in her life is live it to the fullest! Her goals include helping people experiencing genocide and hunger, particularly in North Korea. Another thing Alyssa would like to accomplish is learning at least two other languages—Japanese and Korean. And lastly she would love to see the Pink Lakes in the Dead Sea!

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Debutante Alyssa Jones

daughter of Mr. Randy Jones and Dr. JoAnne Curry Escorted by: Sterling Cornelius Leverett Son of Dr. Larry and Mrs. Denise Leverett

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Debutante Alyssa Jones

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Mrs. Leah Landrum Taylor Dr. Robert and Mrs. Marie Scott The Franklin Family – Tony, Florence, Tre Ms. Evelyn Wheeler Mr. Brian and Mrs. LaShun Debnam Ms. Elaine Williams Mr. Melvin and Mrs. Jewel Jones Ms. Thereza Wright Dr. and Mrs. Larry and Denise Leverett – Body by Leverett Mr. and Mrs. Frank Self The Jones Family – Edward, Janet, Ed, Tanya and Zuly The Taylor Family – Cliff, Debbie, CJ Mr. Mark and Mrs. Rachelle Chambers Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Mrs. Kelly Gosa The Jones Family – Randy, JoAnne and Devonte Ms. Janice Curry and Ms. Barbara Greene Dental By Design Dr. Toni Stockton – Stockton Dermatology Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Delta Beta Omega Chapter

Pat r o n s Dr. Lisa Oliver Mr. Devonte Jones Mr. and Mrs. Darren Nowlin and Family Mr. and Mrs. Lee R. Topps Jack and Jill Teens

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Congratulations to Melia and Alyssa! From all your friends in the Jack and Jill Teen Chapter of Phoenix, we wish you the absolute best

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“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” 103

– Alice Walker, writer


Debutante T yler Joulean Kyser Tyler Joulean Kyser was born in Ohio and moved to Arizona with her family in 2008. She is a senior at Chandler High School, where she has served as a member and officer of numerous organizations. In 2012, Tyler was voted Vice President of the Black Student Union at Chandler High. In 2014, she was elected as the Internal Communications Coordinator for DECA. In addition to DECA and Black Student Union, Tyler is a member of the National Honor Society and is in good standing with her school’s chapter. She has served on the induction committee and the blood drive committee. During summer and fall breaks, Tyler enjoys working as a Recreation Leader with the City of Chandler. Prior to her employment with the City of Chandler, Tyler participated for two summers in the L.I.T. (Leaders in Training) Program and volunteered at Camp Challenge, assisting young children with developmental disabilities participate in summer activities and field trips. After graduation, Tyler looks forward to going away to college where she will pursue a major in political science and minor in business or Spanish at either Louisiana State, Loyola, Dillard or Hampton universities. Ultimately, Tyler aspires to attend law school abroad and fulfill a life’s wish to work with the Peace Corps.

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Debutante T yler Joulean Kyser

daughter of Mrs. Yoroba Russell and Mr. Anthony Kyser Escorted by: Chase Alexander Steed Son of Mr. Larry Steed and Mrs. Juwanta Steed

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Debutante T yler Joulean Kyser

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Ms. Gloria Hemphill Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Delta Beta Omega Chapter

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Debutante Anne Akosua Durowaa Okrah Anne Okrah, daughter of Dr. Peter and Mrs. Angel Okrah, is a senior at Corona Del Sol High School (CDS), where she takes Advanced Placement and Honors classes. She maintains a 3.8 GPA. She was also in the top 10% in the State for the Math Competition for the past 2 years. Anne also scored in the top 3% of all seniors in both the SAT and ACT, including scoring in the top 1% in math. Anne is an active member in many clubs at her school. She has served as treasurer of the Corona Grows Club at her school for the past two years. As a part of Corona Grow, she tends the school garden which grows produce that the club can share with the community. She has been a member of Build Africa for 2 years and the Vice President for one year. Build Africa tutors Somali children refugees who may need more help with school work. Anne is currently a member of two volunteer clubs: Key Club and Red Cross Club. She is also a member of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) and Science Olympiads. During the year she prepares to compete in the state competitions for each of these two clubs. In addition to her membership in many clubs, she was a member of Girl Scouts of America. Anne was a Girl Scout for over 10 years. She served two times as a Program Aide for the Jamboree. Anne also earned her Silver Award for teaching hands-only CPR to teens and tweens at different summer camps. Anne is very involved with her church, Camelback Seventh Day Adventist (SDA). She sometimes spends Christmas morning handing out backpacks and bibles to homeless people as a part of her church’s Backpacks for Christ Program. Throughout the year she helps with her church’s Children’s Program. Along with her youth group at church, she volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Shelter. Anne tries to devote her life to helping other people. She spent 2 weeks in Honduras with her church for a mission trip. She adores working with little children, so during the day in Honduras, she decided to entertain the children while their parents were at the medical clinic. And in the afternoon she worked with all the kids in the neighborhood with the Vacation Bible School Program. When she isn’t volunteering with her church, some Wednesdays, Anne helps elementary school children after school with the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) program at Sunset Public Library. In addition to that, every Sunday Morning Anne volunteers at Cardon’s Children’s Medical Center in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Anne will be joining her sister at Hampton University in the fall of 2016 and plans on majoring in either biology or chemistry.

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Debutante Anne Akosua Durowaa Okrah

daughter of Dr. Peter and Mrs. Angel Okrah Escorted by: Justin Calil Lupoe Son of Mr. and Mrs. John and Frances Lupoe

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Debutante Anne Akosua Durowaa Okrah

S i lv e r Sp o n s o r s Phoenix Alumni Chapter – Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Peter and Mrs. Angel Okrah Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter – Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Acheampong

Ms. Susan Okrah

Mrs. Laura Brooks

Ms. Jeanette Turner

Dr. and Mrs. Ahmed Collins

Mr. John and Mrs. Frances Lupoe

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Howell

Ms. Roslyn Bankston – State Farm Insurance

Mr. and Mrs. Lee Howell

Dr. Toni Stockton – Stockton Dermatology

Mr. Julius and Mrs. Jay Johnson

Pat r o n s Ms. Marie Dunn

Mrs. Roslyn Wilson

Mr. Jerome and Mrs. Sharee Sims

Ms. Benita Harris

Ms. Monet Davis

Ms. Bessie Whitaker

Mrs. Carolyn Thorpe

Ms. Ericka Lassiter

Mr. Donald and Mrs. Yvonne Bland

Dr. Michael Adu-Tutu

Mrs. Jacqueline Suggs

Mr. Ed and Mrs. Larue Howard

Ms. Carole Curd

Ms. Stephanie Wilkins – Johnson

Mr. Silas and Mrs. Annye Nichols

Ms. Brenda Johnson

Mr. Lewis and Mrs. Lois Walker

Mr. Robert and Mrs. Dene Wallace

Mr. Forrest L. and Mrs. Claudia Wade

Dr. Albert and Mrs. Beatrice Olivier

Ms. Cheryl Pete

Mrs. Helene Wilson

Mrs. Mavis Edwards

Mr. Orester and Mrs. Jennifer Harper

Mr. Forrest L., Sr. and Mrs. Ann Wade

Mrs. Beverly M. Wade

Mr. Emory Carter

Ms. Retha Hall

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Cooper

MS. Dheymetria Wilson

Mr. Clifford and Mrs. Elaine Davis

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“Memories of our lives, of our work and our deeds will continue in others.”

– Rosa Parks, civil rights activist

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“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”

– Wilma Rudolph 123


Debutante Ayanna Nichole Peterson Ayanna Nicole Peterson is an honor student at Raymond S. Kellis High School. Ayanna’s academic highlights and achievements include her acceptance as a member of the Upward Bound program at Arizona State University and selection as a high school representative to speak before the United States Congress. Ayanna is a gifted singer and passionate community volunteer. Her community service activities include the following: volunteering at a local food bank, cleaning and painting over graffiti in Phoenix neighborhoods, planting urban vegetables and fruit gardens during the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, assisting residents at Glencroft Senior Living Community in Phoenix, helping sand tables, pick up litter, paint gates, and renovate a bathroom in community parks and neighborhoods throughout Phoenix. Ayanna aspires to become a pediatric neurologist with a focus on adolescent care. She believes her involvement in the medical field will inspire her to become the best person she can be and continue to challenge her to reach levels of excellence and success. After completing her high school diploma, Ayanna looks forward to going away to college and enrolling as a pre-med major. She is considering several institutions including: Grand Canyon University, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Washington. Ayanna is a recipient of the Links’ Academic Scholarship Award.

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Debutante Ayanna Nichole Peterson

daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Akil and Marsheric Peterson Escorted by: Quari Thomas Son of Mr. and Mrs. Bobby and Lisa Marks

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Debutante Ayanna Nichole Peterson

Pat r o n s Ms. JoAnn Lee Ms. Sonji Muhammad Ms. Nicole Pitre Mr. Herschel and Mrs. Shirley Clark Ms. Maxine Jefferson Ms. Joslyn M. Johnson Benning Mr. Harold and Mrs. Joann Tucker Mr. Jason Valdez

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Ayanna, I never imagined the magnitude of Gods blessings and how great he was until, I met you. The day you came into my life, I was never the same. I said to the Almighty this very special prayer.... Dearest God, I hold in my arms the most beautiful blessing that I have ever seen. It is me that you have chosen to be her teacher, her protector and her guide. I’ll make sure “Oh God,” that in your word she’ll hide. The time has come and I have done my best. I’ll take a seat now, heavenly father and let you do the rest. These 3 keys hold close to your heart and the word of God will never depart. The first key is marked with A. The A is to remind you of the one and only Almighty. Use this key to enter into and call upon his name. I promise you, when you call out he will always answer. The second key is marked with the letter N, there to remind you to Never negotiate what God’s promises ARE for your life. He has called you to higher place, so do it with pride and grace. The last key is marked with a P simply stated “Power.” It has no limits to it use and can be used at any hour. Seek this new journey, and do not ever look back. For the race is not given to the swift nor the strong but to the one who endures to the end. I love you so much. We are so proud of you and words can not express how Amazing and wonderful you are. Thank you for allowing Marsheric into your life and allowing her to be a living, loving example of God’s Love. LOVE, Daddy Akil and Marsheric Peterson along with the whole family.

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Debutante Ashleigh Sm all Ashleigh Small is a senior at Westview High School and maintains a 3.3 GPA, earning her the “A & B Honor Roll” Award. She has set her sights on earning straight A’s for the remainder of her high school career. A talented athlete, Ashleigh is a member of the track team and played spring ball for her school’s football team. She is an active member of “Be a Leader,” a club that assists underclassmen in preparing for college by helping students identify and apply for scholarships and other college-funding opportunities. Ashleigh is involved with the Avondale Youth Advisory Commission (AYAC). AYAC works together to help Avondale become a better community, build leadership skills and engage youth in serving their community. Through her participation with AYAC, Ashleigh has dressed up as an elf to entertain underserved children during the holiday season, repaired homes for the elderly, volunteered at a post office, and much more. But her favorite community service event was the Relay for Life, an overnight community fundraising walk to end cancer. After graduation, Ashleigh hopes to attend Duke University, Harvard University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or Carolina State University. Ultimately, she aspires to become a pediatrician and reside in her native North Carolina. Ashleigh is a recipient of the Links’ Academic Scholarship Award.

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Debutante Ashleigh Sm all

daughter of Ms. Stephanie Small Escorted by: Alec Brandon Delafield Son of Mr. and Mrs. Brandon and Jaime Delafield

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Debutante Ashleigh Sm all

S i lv e r Sp o n s o r s Corinthian Carpenter

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Marilyn Locus Michelle Randolph Reginald Perry and James McCabe Katherine Alford Diana Gregory Plummer and Yvonne Perry Christopher Brown

Pat r o n s Andre Raiford Richard Hall Jeff and Tisha Nelson James White Tina Young Shalonda Armstrong Darrel Fogg Charles and Virginia McKeller Stephanie Small Janelle Sweeney

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Debutante Sab riya Cianné Smith Sabriya Cianné Smith is a junior at Valley Christian High School and maintains a 4.0 grade point average. She is a remarkably strong student and athlete. Her extracurricular activities include active membership with the Yearbook team, Student Council, Girls Varsity basketball and track and field. In addition to being an active school leader, Sabriya is a dedicated community servant with a passion for the well-being of children. She assists in the children’s ministry at church; volunteers her time at Feed My Starving Children, hand packing meals for malnourished children around the world; speaking at grade schools in the valley encouraging others on how to love everyone; and for her 16th birthday, she organized a toy drive, requesting her family and friends to donate a toy instead of gifts for her. She in turn donated those gifts to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She was honored for community service on a segment of KTAR’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes’ radio show, titled “Restoring Faith in Humanity.” Well-known as a positive leader in her school and community, Sabriya is the recipient of numerous awards for her outstanding character, spiritual leadership and sportsmanship. She is a member at Christ Life Church in Tempe, where she is active in the youth ministry. She acknowledges Christ as her Lord and Savior and strives to deepen her relationship with Him. When she is not serving her school or community, Sabriya enjoys spending time with her family and friends, listening to music and watching movies. She is excited about attending college and plans to pursue her dream of attending Arizona State University to major in Psychology. She aspires to pursue a careeer in child development.

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Debutante Sab riya CiannĂŠ Smith

daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Anna Smith Escorted by: Jonathan Miles Johnson Son of Ms. Bettina Vance-Johnson and Mr. Eric L. Johnson

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Debutante Sab riya Cianné Smith

G o l d Sp o n s o r s Mark and Anna Smith Mitch and Julie Pierce Honey Bear BBQ Dr. and Mrs. Larry and Denise Leverett – Body by Leverett

S i lv e r Sp o n s o r s Jacob and Marva Greene

B r o n z e Sp o n s o r s Santana Smith and Will Anderson Ken and Malaysia Iwebema Brandon and Jacqueline Chappell Shanel Smith – Obsessed by Shanel Kirk and Lisa Hobbs Shanesha and Reinaldo Sheffield

Pat r o n s John and Bonnie Gray Shamara Smith and Malaysia Iwebema Ms. Bettina Vance

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2016 Escorts

Travion Ayers

Nicholas Anthony Crump

Alec Brandon Delafield

Malik Hunt

Demonte Jackson

Armani Jackson

Jonathan Miles Johnson

Sterling Cornelius Leverett

Justin Calil Lupoe

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2016 Escorts

Saxton Simmons

Chase Alexander Steed

Kendrick Isaiah Jerome Stevenson

Quari Thomas

Braxton Lee Underwood

Anteaus Vedrene

“It is by standing up for the rights of women that we truly measure up as men.”

– Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner 137


Mother and Daughter Tea

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Debutante & Escort Party

Career & Finance Workshop

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Service 2016 Komen Walk

STEM Workshop

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2014 Debutantes & Escorts

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Unfolding the Rosebud By Pastor Darryl L. Brown.

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Ro sebud s

Ana Gabriella Grajales | Taylor Amara Moorer | Judah Renee Crum | Olivia Lee-Daily

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Acknowledgements Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Beta Omega Chapter Arizona Black Rodeo Arizona Informant Azteca Formal Wear Andy Barba Biltmore Pro Print Susan Casper, Mistress of Ceremonies Coalition of Blacks against Breast Cancer (CBBC) Cox Cable Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Tempe Alumnae Chapter, Bronze Sponsor Dillard’s @ Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall Duke Photography Halle Heart Children’s Museum at the American Heart Association Fatimah Halim Great Clips, Silver Sponsor Group USA Jack T. Design Marion Kelly, Master of Ceremonies KROC Center Dr. Gregory & Thelma Morris Nine West Patrick Media Group Premier Audio Visual Randy Heflin Photography Carol Simmons Splash Printing Gina Stephens, Choreographer Tanner Chapel AME Church Tempe Historical Museum The Mesa Marriott Tony & Guy Salon @ Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall Y-Knot Party & Rentals

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“Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

– Ella Fitzgerald

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“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”

– Dalai Lama, spiritual leader 150


Congr at u l ations

Mavis Edwards Platinum Member

The Phoenix Chapter of The Links, Incorporated


Phoenix Chapter The Links, Incorporated 2016 Cotillion  

The Phoenix Chapter of The Links, Incorporated presents "The Unforgettable Princess", the 2016 Cotillion.

Phoenix Chapter The Links, Incorporated 2016 Cotillion  

The Phoenix Chapter of The Links, Incorporated presents "The Unforgettable Princess", the 2016 Cotillion.

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