By RON FANFAIR
Sweet 16 birthday celebrations for Tiffani McRae began two days early when she was crowned debutante queen at the Gems International Cultural Association Cotillion Ball and bursary awards last Saturday night.
The Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School Grade 11 student, sponsored by her mother, Janice McRae and Channaman Restaurant, endured 13 rigorous training sessions and workshops that began last August 9 to clinch the title.
A total of 24 young men and young ladies, ranging in age from 15 to 20, took part in the Ball which allowed the participants to discover the elegance in themselves and also to gracefully display the protocol and etiquette they learned over the last three months.
“I am glad my mom encouraged me to take part because I had so much fun,” said McRae who enjoys singing, acting and dancing. “I made a lot of new friends and I learned about interviewing and social skills. It was a great experience and my best birthday present.”
McRae shared the spotlight with Agincourt Collegiate Grade 10 student, Aaron Campbell, who won the Escort award.
“I made many new friends and I learned how to write an effective resume,” said the 15-year-old Malvern Christian Assembly member who aspires to be an architect and chef. “I love cooking and I want to get a degree in that field too.”
The young participants were judged on articulation, attendance, attire/dress code, deportment, interaction and personality.
The other debutantes were Vanessa DeSouza, Pedrae Cammock, Chiemika Corbin, Kimesha Robinson, Patryce Dowling, Adriana Henry, Shameeka Paulsingh, Kadesha Morrison, Shanique Arthur, Terika Bowman and Marlyn Benjamin.
The Escorts were Aldane Dacres, Jamar Moore, Pierre Cherestal, Amahni Green, Aaron Hubbard, Delon Hubbard, Jaden Alexander-Galasso, Shaquille Favorite, Claude Paulsingh, Kern Hicks and Triston Jones.
Bursaries were presented to 16-year-old St. Joseph’s College student Vanessa DeSouza, Marlyn Benjamin who attends Centennial College and Sir Robert Borden Business Technical Institute Grade 11 student, Triston Jones.
Miss Guyana Canada 2005, Veronique Henry, delivered an inspiring message to the young people. The York University political science and University of Victoria law graduate was called to the Ontario Bar last year.