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Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated ® , Alpha Theta Omega Chapter held its first Debutante Assembly on December 31, 1937 in Raleigh, North Carolina. This was the result of an idea conceived by active members of the Alpha Theta Omega Chapter to enhance educational and cultural enrichment for young ladies in the community and its environs. At
this 1937 Debutante Assembly, the Alpha Theta Omega Chapter presented eleven young ladies to society. This was the dawning of the DEBUTANTE TRADITION.


This stellar Debutante Program and Ball are known throughout our state and the country.  The Annual Debutante Ball has been referred to as “one of Raleigh, North Carolina’s most exciting events of the year.” The Ball gives the public and supporters the opportunity to experience this beautiful affair and to witness the accomplishments of the participants.
Over the past decades, more than a hundred debutantes were presented to society at many of the Annual Debutante Balls.


Since 2015, the Debutante Program and Ball have been sponsored by ATO, Inc. in collaboration with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, Alpha Theta Omega Chapter. ATO, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Together, these organizations are committed to carrying on this rich tradition and to continually supporting and recognizing young people! Support for the Debutante Program and its scholarship effort is provided by donations from individuals, organizations, and businesses within the Raleigh community as well as many other philanthropic individuals and entities.

Young ladies who are high school seniors are selected for participation in the Debutante Program based on their potential to further their education beyond high school and on their moral character and ethical values. We rely on school personnel, members of the community, youth organizations and programs, local churches, fraternal and sorority members, and former program participants to recommend young ladies for participation in
the Debutante Program.

The Debutante Program serves to equip, encourage, stimulate, and mentor young ladies to become productive citizens and pursue higher education. The program is specifically designed with objectives to:

  • Encourage, strengthen, and recognize the educational, cultural, and personal development of high school young ladies through workshops, activities, the Arts, and a formal Ball,

  • Encourage a strong sense of community service and involvement,

  • Aid in building leadership and interpersonal skills that benefit the community and society,

  • Promote high ethical standards, unity, and friendship,

  • Reinforce positive values, ethics and life skills learned from life experiences, and

  • Introduce new thoughts and ideas which prepare the young ladies for adaptation into a diverse society and the world.


These objectives are achieved through a six-month program consisting of educational workshops, talent and essay presentations, social activities, life skills, community service projects, and rehearsals. The culminating event of the program is the Annual Debutante Ball and Awards Program.

Participants of the Debutante Program may apply for the scholarships offered by ATO, Inc. Debutantes may apply for book scholarships and other educational scholarships. Assistant Marshals, who are high school seniors may also apply for book scholarships. Scholarships are awarded upon completion of high school and proof of enrollment in an institution of higher learning.

Our Debutantes, as well as the young men who served as their escorts,
have an outstanding record of completing undergraduate and higher levels of education in various fields and of becoming upstanding citizens within their respective communities and the world

ATO YouTube Channel

ATO YouTube Channel

ATO YouTube Channel
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84th Annual Debutante Ball

84th Annual Debutante Ball

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83rd Annual Debutante Ball

83rd Annual Debutante Ball

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Debutante Program

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