PEARLS’ Girls of Hampton County Making a Difference in Girls’ Lives
PEARLS’Girls was established in 2011 by a task force of caring PEARLS of Hampton County members. PEARLS’ Girls is a group of fifth and sixth grade Hampton County students who are mentored until their graduation and entrance into the world, as confident and prepared young women.
There are currently 17 PEARLS’ Girls, who are now in the sixth and seventh grades. These girls were selected for membership from teacher and guidance counselor recommendations, based on their hard work. PEARLS member Peggy Parker, along with a task force, PEARLS members, PEARLS’ Girls’ Aunties, and parents and guardians have watched these young girls grow, mature and develop into well-rounded young ladies. Everyone needs support, guidance, and encouragement along the way. PEARLS’ Girls are being provided just that, through mentoring, focusing on education, practicing life skills, learning what teamwork is all about, experiencing new and fun things together and just reaching out beyond Hampton County. Young eyes have been opened to the possibility of being the best that they can be. They are seeing how hard work, devotion, commitment in doing better, and being a friend, can strengthen oneself and build self-confidence and esteem.
PEARLS’ Girls was honored at a recent meeting to have a very special guest speaker, Mrs. Sabrina Graham from Hampton. Mrs. Graham is a past Hampton County Administrator and now is working diligently as director of Lowcountry Council of Government and continuing her efforts to improve and help Hampton County. Mrs. Graham spoke to the girls about her life and family and how sometimes things were very hard. Her Christian grandparents were instrumental in teaching her how education, hard work and perseverance were the keys to success. She stressed to the girls how values and being respectful of self and others is vital to success. All eyes and ears were riveted towards this wonderful lady and the girls appreciated her taking time from her busy schedule and family to come be with us.
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Columbia College Momentum Scholars, along with Dean of Students LaNae Budden, have worked diligently with PEARLS and PEARLS’ Girls. The Columbia College students have been assigned as pen pals to each of the PEARLS’ Girls who communicate with them, offering guidance, encouragement and friendship. These young ladies have shared their dreams and motivated the girls to do their best. Scholarships to colleges and universities can be achieved and these Columbia College students are true examples.
PEARLS’ Girls recently took a Saturday trip to Beaufort, SC, which was planned by Mrs. Beth Young and members of the task force. The girls experienced fine dining at Panini’s, where manners and social skills were put into practice. What delicious food! Next a tour of historic Beaufort via horse drawn carriage was filled with interesting stories, people and places. The Robert Smalls story was a favorite. Afterwards, the girls attended a movie at a downtown theater, followed by a bus trip home. Thanks to bus driver Mr. Rondell Lee of Leeway Travels.
Upcoming PEARLS events include PEARLS of Hampton County’s Annual membership meeting on April 30th at Open Arms Fellowship Church where the PEARLS’ Girls will be presented to the membership. The main speaker will be Mrs. Penny L. Hunt from Edgefield County and a special guest, Miss Pearl Thomasina Thomas, from Florence, who will be entering the Miss SC Pageant, will also attend, coming especially to address the girls.
Summer plans are in the making for a one week summer camp, Camp PEARLS’ Girls. The Beth McNeer Scholarship Fund was established in her memory, just for the PEARLS’ Girls. Mr. James Black has so graciously offered a camp similar to his camp, but just for PEARLS’ Girls. We are so appreciative and want to thank Mr. Black.
PEARLS - Philanthropic Empowerment Among Rural Lowcountry Sisters - is a group of dedicated women who care with causes that matter in Hampton County. Since 2006, PEARLS has awarded more than $42,000 in grants to Hampton Country nonprofit organizations. The grant-making focus is strengthening families and individuals in the areas of art and culture, community development, education, the environment, and health and human services. The PEARLS’ Grants Committee establishes criteria and selects several themes; the membership selects the specific theme for each funding cycle meant to benefit grant-seeking, nonprofit organizations.
Since 1994, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry has been connecting people, resources and needs by helping build stronger communities and assisting donors in making a difference through charitable giving. With more than 320 charitable funds, combined assets totaling $65 million and grantmaking and scholarships reaching $58 million, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry is the largest source of unrestricted philanthropic resources dedicated to Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties.
For more information contact us at (843) 681-9100 or visit our website at www.cf-lowcountry.org.