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Youth participate in Rites of Passage program

The Delaware Valley Chapters of Jack and Jill of America Inc. is hosting it’s seventh annual Rites of Passage program.

The program is open to rising sophomores and juniors in participating Delaware Valley Chapters. The program began September 2018 and culminates with a presentation gala in the fall.

The Delaware Valley Chapters are composed of African-American teens from Bucks County, Chester County, Mercer County, N.J., and New Castle County, Del.

Louise Butler, New Castle County, Yakenya Moise, Mercer County, and Carol Smith, Chester County, will lead the participants through their Rites of Passage.

Participating teens, called initiates, transition from youth to adulthood following the traditions of African ancestors by completing specific activities that celebrate Six Spirits: the Spirit of Self Awareness, the Spirit of Community Service, the Spirit of Health and Wellness, the Spirit of Family, the Spirit of Enterprise and Career, the Spirit of Spiritual Awareness.

Twenty-six initiates were presented to the elders and their community during a Preparation Ceremony, which consisted of an African Naming and Kwanzaa Ceremony.

The young men and women, draped in colorful Kente Cloth announced their chosen African name and gave its meaning during the Naming Ceremony. The room was adorned with creative symbols and shields created by the initiates to represent their African name.

During the Kwanzaa Ceremony, the teens by chapter, lit a candle, stated a Kwanzaa principle and shared how their chapter demonstrates this principle in the community.

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

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