The local non-profit organization Destiny Driven Youth, founded by Cynthia Beverly, President, honored 12 college graduates under the age of 30 at the Black Excellence Celebration held at the St. Peter Claver Mission Chapel Saturday night in Sulphur.
All of the honorees were members of the faith-based program, formed in 2016, which serves black youth ages 10 to 20. Those honored include:
Amilya Allison, 30, is the daughter of Kayla and Lawayne Allison. Amilya attended McNeese State University and received a bachelor’s in Sociology and master’s in Business Administration (MBA). She is currently employed by the Johnson Firm.
She was recently accepted into law school and plans to graduate law school and promote to an associate attorney at her current firm. She has one son, Maddox, whom she considers her greatest achievement.
Sean Andrus, 30, is the son of Margaret Allison and Creig Andrus. He attended UL-Lafayette for two years then finished his bacherlor’s in education with a minor in Sociology at McNeese State. He has been employed at F.K. White Middle School for the past two years. Future plans are to continue his progress as an educator and a coach. He considers his students his children and said his greatest achievement is seeing the first group of students he taught in middle school graduate from high school last year.
Gerald “Chip” Armelin Jr., 28, is the son of Gerald and Martha Armelin. He received a bachelor’s in business from the University of Southern Mississippi, which he lists as his greatest achievement thus far. He is currently employed by Centerpoint Energy. He was ranked 10th in his school’s history for 3-pointers made, played basketball overseas in Hungary, and played in a Hungarian All-Stars game, and he was a C-Spire finalist for the Howell Trophy, which is given to top Mississippi College basketball players. He made Dean’s list his freshmen and sophomore years in college. He plans to become a master electrician, start a family and receive a master’s degree. Armelin is married to Lydia Armelin.
Chenequa Ceasar, 27, is the daughter of Mary Ceasar and Calvin Peco. She received a practical nursing degree from Lamar State College — Orange and is currently employed with Oschner Medical Center in New Orleans. Her future plans are to become a registered nurse then a nurse anesthetist.
Shaylen Fuselier, 21, is the daughter of Dennis and Capricia Botley. She is a graduate of the Avery School of Cosmotology and is the owner of True Barber and Beauty. Her greatest achievement is owning her ow salon at the age of 21. Future plans include opening multiple salons to include barbers, nail techs, makeup artists and massage therapists, as well as expanding her wig-making and hair extensions business.
She is married to Arthur Fuselier and the couple has two sons, Amere and Amoré.
Colby D. Ceasar, 28, is the son of Donald and Marge Ceasar. He attended McNeese State University where he earned a degree in foreign language, Spanish, as well as a bachelor of science through the registered nurse program. He is currently employed at McDermott and works at Cameron LNG 2 and at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, where he serves on the nursing board. He is an active Spanish translator for both employers.
His greatest achievement is becoming the first black HSE medical nurse case manager for McDermott. His future plans include developing properties for housing, managing a beef cattle company for distribution, and becoming more involved with the youth of the community.
He is married to Lydia Ceasar and the couple has two sons, Colby Jr. and Logan.
Meagan Guillory, 23, received a bachelor’s in Sociology and Family and Child Studies from McNeese State University, what she considers her greatest achievement thus far. She is employed with Family and Youth Counseling. She has been accepted into the school of social work at Our Lady of the Lake University where she will pursue a master’s degree. She hopes to be employed as a social worker thereafter.
Dionna Henry, 25, is the daughter of Alisa and Terrell Stevens. She received her bachelor’s of applied science from McNeese State University and is currently employed as a Quality Control Lab Analyst by Sasol. Henry graduated with a B average on a full-ride academic scholarship. She purchased her own home at the age of 24, completed a year of medical school, placed 10th in the nation in the triathlon at the age of 10, is a published poet, and has completed more than 4,000 hours of community service.
She has one son, Tristan Henry, whom she considers her greatest achievement.
L’Kendra Jacob, 25, is the daughter of Kevin Perry and Sandy Lewis. She received a bachelor’s in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science/Pre-Physical Therapy in 2016) and a master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2018 from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She is currently employed by The Center for Children and Family in Monroe as a Crisis/Family Therapist.
Her greatest achievement is overcoming her past and not letting it dictate her future. She has traveled to Israel and her future plans are to own her own home by the age of 30, pay it off by the age of 35, and own a business with her husband at age 35. She hopes to lead a youth ministry with her husband, serving as pastors. She is married to Gregory Jacob III.
Jayleen Lantier, 20, is the daughter of Chris and Jody Ryan. She is received a business degree from Bossier Parish Community College, which she said is her greatest achievement to date. She is currently employed with Merchants and Farmers Bank and hopes to earn a bachelors in accounting from Northwestern State University to work as a CPA and coach softball in her free time. She played college softball and was 1st Team All Region, 1st Team All conference, and 2nd Team All American.
Victoria Ryan, 26, is the daughter of Cynthia Ryan Beverly. She received a degree from Louisiana State University in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in political science, leadership development, and Sociology. She is currently employed by AppleGate Recovery. Her greatest achievement to date is graduating college. Her work as senior clinical led her office to receive a national Clinic of the Year award. She has received the Customer Service Award and is a former Ms. Black Heritage.
Laquilta Trent, 28, is the daughter of Carl and Janet Trent. She graduated from Sowela Technical Community College with an associate degree in accounting. She is currently employed at the Isle of Capri Casino. Her greatest achievement thus far is graduating from college.
Her future plans include attainting a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree in accounting within the next few years.
Beverly said Destiny Driven Youth was created to remind black youth that, “God has the perfect plan for their lives.”
The event also featured a reading of Hey Black Child, by 10-year-old Imani Willis, a performance of an original praise song by Krishon Seatrunks, and Spoken Word by Krishon and his wife. Pastor Timothy Ceasar delivered a brief speech at the conclusion.