Monday, April 14, 2014

P.E.A.R.L. Girls

I spent a few moments speaking with Keisha Howard, CEO and Founder of the empowering organization called P.E.A.R.L. Girls. 
P.E.A.R.L = Poised, Elegant and Responsible Leaders!
At Love My Hairitage we are committed to building self esteem  and redefining a new standard of beauty in women and girls all across the world. Understanding the work of Keisha and her team was very informative and a delight to share!
Who is Keisha Howard - Briefly introduce yourself
I am a school counselor by day and girl’s confidence coach at night. I am the Founder of P.E.A.R.L. Girls which is a self-esteem enhancement organization for girls in DFW. Since 2007, over 1000 girls have participated in our programs.
When did you know developing girls was something you HAD to do?
When I started working in an Elementary school and I noticed that several girls lacked self-esteem and they also lacked positive social skills. I saw a need, so I created the program to help them.
What ages do you work with? How does a girl apply for your program?
Most of our programs are for girls in ages 4-17. However, this year we are also offering an etiquette workshop for adults age 18 and older. 
All of our programs can be registered for on our website,  We have an Etiquette Workshop & Meal on May 17 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. We also have an inner-beauty self-esteem pageant where girls are taught principles through pageantry. This pageant celebrates girl's natural beauty! It's all about confidence and every girl receives a crown, trophy, and sash. 
You mentioned that becoming a P.E.A.R.L. Girl starts from within. What outward signs does a girl usually reflect that demonstrates her inner beauty and self confidence? What does she walk away with?
She is confident in her walk and holds her head up. She goes after her goals, she stands up for her herself and for what’s right. She also volunteers and gives back to the community.
How did you come up with: Education + Etiquette + Empowerment = Success!
All of our workshops focus on instilling life skills. We bring in qualified guest speakers to present on various topics affecting girls today. We also make sure that our workshops are interactive and fun so that the girls are learning while having fun.
Where do you see the organization in five years?
I am currently writing a self-esteem book for girls and developing a P.E.A.R.L. Girls curriculum which will be available for people to purchase and start a branch of P.E.A.R.L. Girls in their school and community.
On another topic, you have beautiful, natural hair - what's your hair story? Do you believe natural hair is a trend?
I have been natural for about 4 years. I don’t believe that it is a trend. To me, being natural is me embracing my authentic self. It is me truly loving what God blessed me with. 
How has being natural influenced how you feel about yourself?
It has enhanced my personal self-esteem because I feel that I am genuinely embracing me. I feel free and real which is empowering.
Did you receive support from your family on your decision to go natural? If not, how did you handle it?
Yes, my family was supportive, they love my hair. My sister actually went natural 2 years after I did.
Final thought - Although your girls are not all natural, how important is it to get them to redefine what beauty is?
It’s important to redefine beauty because society's beauty standards are flawed. Society sends the media messages to girls that one must be thin, have really long hair, etc. to be pretty. We try to teach the girls that it’s whats on the inside that makes one beautiful. A person’s community service, their public speaking skills, and their special talents also make them beautiful. ..All the makeup in the world can’t hide an ugly personality. 
Thank you Keisha!
Check out their programs online :

Keep Believing in yourself!


No comments:

Post a Comment