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The First Lady's Blog 
First Lady Hosts Iota Phi Lambda Sorority Members at Government House
Posted by Julia Watthey on March 17, 2011 at 6:00 PM AST

On Sunday, First Lady Cecile de Jongh was pleased to host the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Epsilon Zeta Chapter, for an afternoon Tea Party at Government House, St. Thomas. Seventeen debutantes and their little sisters and escorts were present for the special event. 

Iota Phi Lambda Sorority “Gem of Excellence” Nyala Stagger thanks First Lady Cecile de Jongh on behalf of the debutantes, escorts, and little sisters for hosting a Tea Party at Government House in their honor, March 13, 2011.

Iota Phi Lambda Sorority members are mentoring the young ladies, also known as the “Gems of Excellence” in a four-month program that concludes this month with an Academic Cotillion at the Reichhold Center on St. Thomas on March 27th.

The sorority’s motto is “Upward and Onward in Efficient Service” and each of the debutantes was asked to perform a community service project in cooperation with Iota Phi Lambda Sorority. The group was featured on the Face to Face television broadcast on Wednesday, March 16 to discuss their experiences in the program.

First Lady Cecile de Jongh poses with Iota Phi Lambda Sorority debutantes, or “Gems of Excellence” at Government House, St. Thomas on March 13, 2011.

The First Lady thanked Iota Phi Lambda Sorority President Elma Brathwaite-Curtis and Academic Cotillion Co-Chairs Debra Gottlieb and Sherilyn Hodge for their efforts in mentoring the students.

“Young people are our future, and I am delighted at the efforts of the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority in providing encouragement, guidance, and leadership training to the Gems of Excellence, who, in turn, are already mentoring their own little sisters on pathways of self-discovery and community engagement. I look forward to all that they will achieve collectively and individually and extend my best wishes to each student as the sorority continues preparing for its Academic Cotillion later this month,” she said.