Three ladies enter world of debutantes

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photo courtesy of Jillian Tredwell

Senior Jillian Tredwell poses in her outfit she wore at her Debutante Ball.

Katie Karlen, staff writer

Some students play sports, others are in clubs, but three students participate in an activity seldom talked about; seniors Jillian Tredwell, Adrienne Vickers, and Rachael Givens-Copeland are in the process of becoming modern day debutantes.

A debutante is not some ancient word or foreign concept, but according to two of the seniors, it can be simply defined. “A debutante is a young woman making her debut into society,” said Tredwell. “To be a debutante, you have to apply with a resume, then go through workshops, and [eventually] attend events such as teas––we also have to fundraise about $1,000,” said Vickers.

The debutante program the three seniors are a part of, however, is more than just an opportunity to dress up and socialize. “This [program] is specifically for young African-American females to be recognized for their accomplishments in high school,” said Vickers. “We fundraise to provide scholarships for college for young African-American men and women,” said Givens-Copeland.

Tredwell, Vickers, and Givens-Copeland became a part of the program through family influence. “I got into this debutante program through my older cousins who were previous debutantes,” said Tredwell. “My sister did it a couple of years ago [and] I had a lot of friends do it––I really wanted to do it because of the stories told by the people who did it, and the friendships they made,” said Vickers. “It’s a part of my family lineage, and considering that my mother and grandmother are links, I had no option,” said Givens-Copeland.

The ladies feel that being a debutante is a bit more glamorous than just registering and showing up to meetings or workshops. They have to attend formal events and go through preparation for their final Cotillion Ball at the end of the program. “We have dance lessons where we learn how to waltz [with our] escorts,” said Vickers. “We get to wear wedding dresses, too,” said Tredwell.

Along with learning new dance moves, the program has provided the up-and-coming debutantes with an assortment of irreplaceable experiences. “My favorite part is hanging out with all the different debutantes and our link sponsors,” said Tredwell. “My favorite part was the retreat when all the girls got together for the first time as a group and got to know each other. I’ve formed great bonds with people,” said Vickers.