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Academy teaches kids finer points of etiquette

Published Sep. 4, 2005

Tia Young, United Airlines flight attendant turned etiquette bon vivant, believes in the dignified potential of America's children.

Granted, some are barely potty-trained and others just act that way, Young is not deterred. Having completed a seminar at the Academy of Etiquette and Protocol in Orlando, the Tampa Palms mother of three is focusing her charms on New Tampa.

"You have to practice manners," she said. "You cannot just expect them to happen. You have to be aware of yourself."

Hence the Tampa Etiquette Academy _ not a brick-and-mortar building, but a roving series of classes on everything from how to answer a telephone to what fork to use for salad.

Students learn that women are introduced before men, older women before younger women, and the President of the United States, man or not, is introduced before everybody.

Advertising mostly through fliers and words of mouth, Young has attracted only a handful to her classes, which cost $65 for four hours of instruction.

Among the finer points she imparted at a recent class: "Women don't like to give their age after a certain point." Just 5 years old, student Noni Marshall needed to adjust to that concept. She responded: "My mom is 36."

You can reach Young at 629-2785.