A local volunteer has started mentoring program at a Mobile elementary school to help young girls stay out of trouble. The program is called “Priceless Gems.” Mrs. Theresa McPherson comes to Forest Hill Elementary once a week. Her goal is to show third to fifth-grade girls how to resolve conflicts without resulting to a fight. She also is teaching the girls how to be a friend. She says, “These girls hear so many bad things every day. Bad stuff is said to them. Words do hurt. When they are in here, they hear all positive things…beauty…faith…hope… love and dreaming.”
The girls tell us they are taking away some valuable lessons. Patience Grays says, “We are learning about not to be a bully and to be friends.” Jordyn Harris says, “It has helped me with anger problems, mess, drama, how to be kind.” Laiyla Hamilton says, “It helps you be a better person and control your behavior.”
McPherson used to teach a character building to high school students, but she has since modified that program for younger students. She implemented “Priceless Gems” a few years ago, and believes she is reaching these young girls. She wants them to, first and foremost, learn to respect themselves. “You are priceless. Don’t let anyone tell you are junk. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are nothing.”
McPherson is working on a book, that should be out sometime later this year. She is compiling some of the life lessons she has tried to teach the girls, and shares some of the stories that she has heard from the girls over the years.