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Social Services Spotlight: Top Teens of America
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Members of the community gathered to recognize the first induction ceremony for the Effingham chapter’s Top Teens of America.

A host of local teens were inducted into the organization in recognition of their academic prowess and leadership potential.

The Top Teens of America is an organization dedicated to developing local students from secondary schools within the community into responsible young adults while focusing on specific keys to success.

These keys include encouraging high academic scholarship and developing high social graces, leadership and fellowship abilities. The organization also emphasizes the development of pride in home and community through participation in workshops that address current trends and concerns that are affecting the community.

The TTA works collaboratively with other organizations to reach goals that will serve to further initiatives that will encourage appreciation of racial and ethnic heritages while insuring that the importance of education is highlighted.

Among the organizations that have collaborated is the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the NAACP, the United Negro College Fund, and the National Council of Negro Women.

With the support of these organizations, the TTA participates in projects that promote important causes such as Sickle Cell disease awareness while providing mentoring and literacy programs offered by the organization’s sponsor, the Top Ladies of Distinction, that serve to protect the core mission that led to its creation.

In 1964, the eight founders of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc.’s primary objective was to help alleviate the moral and social problems engulfing the youth throughout various communities via a youth organization that would help those communities through dedicated service.

In 1968 while meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, the membership of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. decided that the group should have an official name. Lady Cordelia Mackey, President of the Texarkana Twin City Chapter, suggested the name of  Top Teens of America and that name was adopted.

Since 1968, thousands of youth in secondary schools, nationally and internationally, have benefited from membership in Top Teens of America.

Top Teens of America Effingham Chapter Inductees: Jadelyn Cope, Tychaun Coppock, Zy’Quez Dukes, Diamond Gaffney, Ineza Garvin, Sarah Harden, Monique Overstreet, Shemar Owens-Westbrook, Emmanuel Pinkney, Whitney Ricardo, Erick Robinson, Angel Smith, Gwendolyn Smith, Malkolm Stephens, Shabrea Wallace, Denzel Walls, Samari Westbrook.