SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Four students from South Orange and Maplewood have been selected to participate in the 2017 Debutante Leadership Program, according to a press release from the Essex County Chapter of The Links, Inc.

The four students are:

  • Alanza Zidane Blake 
  • Avani Jaelyn Cort
  • Kathryn Alease Jones
  • Nava Raya Levene

Blake and Cort attend Columbia High School, and Jones and Levene attend The Pingry School.

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These students are among 17 in all who were selected from four New Jersey counties to participate in the 2017 Debutante Leadership Program sponsored by the Essex County (NJ) Chapter of The Links, Inc. 

This program is offered every other year by invitation only to outstanding high school sophomore and junior girls in northern and central New Jersey, who have demonstrated academic excellence and a commitment to community service, stated a release from The Links, Inc.

The 2017 Leadership Program began in February and will culminate on December 3,  in a formal Emerald and Ivory Cotillion from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  at the Hanover Marriott Hotel in Whippany, NJ. During the program, debutantes participate in educational, social, cultural and community service activities. The program includes a mother-daughter tea, a father-daughter luncheon, a trip to Wall Street, and workshops that address topics such as, public speaking, understanding one’s personality, working in teams, ethical and moral behavior, etiquette today in the world of technology and understanding finances, according to a release from The Links, Inc.

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 284 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. Essex County Chapter, The Links, Incorporated was established in 1986.