Yaeshae's Story


“I always thought that I was not good enough.”

Pretty powerful feelings for an adult, let alone a teenage girl like Yaeshae, now a junior in high school. Feeling alone and looking for guidance after her mother’s passing, at 14 Yaeshae turned to PEARLS for Teen Girls as a safe haven.

Girls join PEARLS from all walks of life, many facing neighborhoods rife with generational poverty, substance abuse, family instability and crime. But with PEARLS they have a space to call their own, to open up and share a bond they build with their PEARLS sisters.

“I challenged myself on accepting the fact that my mother was gone and I basically had to grow ‘alone’. I chose to do things that made her proud.”

Your gift to PEARLS supports Yaeshae and thousands of other PEARLS girls’ personal growth through our programming offering them safety, security and support.

Now living with her sister, Yaeshae has continued attending PEARLS groups and is one of our teen facilitators. Every week, Yaeshae and her PEARLS sisters discuss healthy relationships, build their conflict resolution skills, and gain confidence by setting and achieving their goals. They follow our signature PEARLS Leadership Compass Curriculum, are active in our College and Career Readiness program, and connect with PEARLS alumnae as well as successful, women leaders.

“Coming to PEARLS has helped me become a better me. I see myself achieving my goals and having a better future. It gave me a different outlook on everything and made me more open minded about different situations.”

We are on track to serve an unprecedented 1,660 girls in 2015. As PEARLS’ first Program Coordinator and first Director of Program Services, I am thrilled to take PEARLS to the next level as Executive Director. I strive to make sure every PEARLS girl has the opportunity to see her potential and build inner confidence.

Will you support girls’ self-development and strengthen our community through an investment in PEARLS girls this year?

My sincere thanks for considering an investment in girls.


Gerry Howze, Executive Director