Photo caption: Verna Caddie, founder of Devine Creations (center) with 2014 debutantes and dance instructor, Rita Hughes at cotillion ball at Humble Civic Center. | Photo credit: LV Davis of PicsbyLV.
Six young ladies were recently presented at the 8th Annual Debutante/Cotillion Ball and Gala at the Humble Civic Center.
The event celebrated the completion of a special 8-month etiquette program, launched by Verna Caddie in 2006, called Devine Creations, a nonprofit organization designed to empower young ladies.
Ebonee Bradley, Tyriel Jackson, Madison Green, Layla Mitchell, Anita Henderson Doss and Phylicity Caddie were accompanied by their parents and personal escorts, Emmanuel Caddie, Isiah Caddie, Derrick Mitchell, William Hogeland, Frederick Chaykoski and Victor Wilson. The ceremony was followed by a performance of the waltz, where each girl, accompanied by her escort, showcased the dance skills, poise and elegance they learned in the program.
Local women Sherra Bird, Tosha Dearborne and Debra Ross were also honored during the program with the Rona Burns Williams Award.
Williams, a close friend of Caddie’s, died unexpectantly last year from Lupus but left her mark on the hearts of many that loved her.
“Rona was caring and loving and kind, and this year I wanted to honor her in the way she should be honored, something I couldn’t do last year because I was broken,” said Caddie.
Williams supported Caddie’s vision of empowering and grooming young girls to carry themselves as young ladies.
“So many girls don’t know how to be young ladies, so what we do is train them and teach them etiquette, manners, how to sit at a table, how to respect themselves and how to love one and get along with each other,” said Caddie.
The program invites young girls from diverse backgrounds to take part in the program.
“If President Obama invites one of these young ladies to go to the White House, they will know how to sit at the table, do the waltz and present themselves as young ladies,” she said with pride.
Laylah Mitchell, a 14-year-old Woodlands High School student, who described herself as very quiet, conservative, and at times awkward, enrolled in the program after her mother learned about it online.
“I have learned how to act in social situations in which I might feel nervous or uneasy, and learned how to cope by presenting myself as calm and ready to speak to people,” said Mitchell.
Her mother, Marquisha Mitchell, saw the program as a good opportunity for her daughter to network and build cameraderie with girls from various backgrounds.
The mother of Amyia Doss believes the program offered a positive, Christian-based atmosphere for her 8-year-old daughter to develop a sense of sisterhood.
“I think etiquette is very important for girls in today’s society and wanted her to understand how to be elegant and how to carry herself as a young lady. She has really grown and the program has made such a difference,” said Amyia’s mother.
Her daughter had been bullied and the program taught her to accept herself, value her abilities and not give in to peer pressure to fit in, shared her mother.
The program’s dance instructor, Rita Hughes, called it a “blessing” to watch her students blossom. She believes the art of dance, particularly the waltz, helps young people to develop more than just dance skills, but life skills.
“It has been an experience to see how they are at the beginning and to be able to see them open their minds and learn a new craft that will be beneficial to them in years to come,” said Hughes.
For Caddie, the night represented a continuing fulfillment of a dream as she honored the young ladies in her program and paid tribute to women who are making a difference in the lives of others.
To view or purchase photos from the cotillion, visit www.picsbylv.com or click here.
Photo credits: LV Davis of PicsbyLV
Photo credits: LV Davis of PicsbyLV
About Verna Caddie
As founder of Casting Your Cares, Inc., Devine Creations, Devine Prom Project and many other empowerment programs for young ladies, mothers and sons, Verna Caddie’s goal is to provide mentoring and education programs to help young women succeed.
She was a judge in “Nationals Pageant” in 2010 and 2011 and gained over 20 years of experience as an instructor at Barbizon School of Modeling , Sears Models Clubs, In Fashion Models and the director for Wedding Shows in the Houston area
Caddie has made numerous promotional TV appearances to spread the word on Devine Creations and Devine Prom Project and has received a number of proclamations from federal and state legislators and was a past contestant in The Miss. Texas Pageant.
In 2009, she created “The Etiquette Professionals Network”, which helps woman and men become certified as etiquette professionals, wedding etiquette instructors, tea consultants, girls mentoring coach, boys mentoring coach and image certified consultant. Caddie is the author of several etiquette books. In 2013, she received a certificate from State Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
for her program Devine Creations, and was featured in a docu-series for helping young children become polished.
The cotillion ball benefits “Casting Your Cares, Inc.”, a 501c3 non profit organization, which helps assist single mothers with children that suffer from (bioplor,ADD,mental disorders,and depression). The event also benefits “Devine Prom Project” which helps young high school girls with free prom gown. A portion of all proceeds go to expand the charity programs.
Caddie is the mother of two handsome sons and one beautiful daughter. For more information on the organization and its community outreach efforts, call 832-606-2280, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.devinecreations.org.