Posts tagged "Teens"

Meet The Black PEARL Program!

Live  BOLD, BEAUTIFUL & FEARLESS!  The Black PEARL (Pretty, Educated, Aware, Refined, Ladies) Program encourages young women  to step into their destiny!  Created by Phylicia Henry of La Perle Noire LLC, the program is designed to teach & encourage teen females  on how to tap into their inner being and accept who they are instead of what they are not. They are devoted to educating young girls on self-confidence and a positive self-esteem.

PEARL’s underlying message for young women is to seek approval within, without seeking the approval of others.They moderate and encourage a series of discussions and workshops shaped by their own curriculum on self-esteem, beauty and wellness. It addresses the sensitive and difficult topics that arise during the teenage and adolescent years. Their goal is to encourage young women to know and understand that they are beautiful.

Let’s get to know  The Black Pearl Program a little better…



The Black Pearl Program teaches and encourages young women to tap into their inner being and accept who they are instead of what they are not. What made you launch this empowering organization? 

 The Black PEARL Program was started for many reasons, but what really inspired me was the story of one girl that I had to opportunity to work with.  She wrote a suicide letter and in that letter she wrote that she wished she was never Black. She wished she was born white. She hated the fact that god made her Black and for that reason she wanted to kill herself. At that point I knew that something had to be done to help young women struggling with their image. I worked on developing The Black PEARL Program curriculum to cover many of the issues young women of color face and help them develop a positive self-image and self-esteem.  

 PEARL stands for Pretty, Educated, Aware, Refined, Ladies. How does your organization encourage young ladies to embrace their individuality + personal strengths? 

 We encourage our girls first with our staff. The Black PEARL Program works with many different women with different looks, shades, sizes and ethnicities to show our participants first hand that beauty is subjective and there isn’t a “one look fits all” when it comes to a women’s beauty. Through our lessons and curriculum we showcase and incorporate different aspects of Black femininity and intelligence. We use that to strengthen young women’s self-esteem, image and individuality.

 If you had to give one piece of advice to teen girls who are struggling with being comfortable in their own skin, what would it be? 

My advice for teen girls struggling with being comfortable with themselves is to research a woman who they admire. Try to mirror their confidence and traits that you find the most intriguing and attractive about them. If you are struggling with your appearance find a positive female figure who has your similar hair type, skin color, body type, whatever it is and use that person as a sort of role model for yourself.

 We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?

 Wow, so many women inspire me! From women like you who have started this wonderful magazine to single mothers working 3 jobs to provide a great life for themselves and their children. I respect people who are going hard and mastering their craft and living life. Two of the women that have inspired me the most over the years have been Naomi Campbell, her confidence, poise and sophistication are untouchable and the amazing Angela Davis; her intellect, beauty and strength are so incredible!

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 Working with youth both parties learn from each other, what’s one trait you have learned from working with girls?

Well when working with the “At-Risk” population where people may be very judgmental, I’ve learned that there is no such thing as a “bad kid.”

Many teens just need guidance, motivation and someone to inspire them. I have learned to be a bit more understanding and also that teens are eager to learn in a way that it’s meaningful to them from people who GENUINELY care. Teens can sense when your being authentic and when your just there to collect a paycheck.

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 We’re all about empowerment at C.O.R.E Mag, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you + your organization?

Empowerment equates to motivating while encouraging and uplifting others in a meaningful and positive way. Empowering others last a lifetime.

Fun Faves! Song? Food? Artist? Celeb Crush?

Favorite song is Robin S. Show Me Love, favorite artist is Jean-Michel Basquiat and Cebe Crush would be, Les Twins they’re twin dancers from France and they are EVERYTHING!
Check out more from  The Black Pearl Program…

Weekend Steez!

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Happy Weekend, loves! 

These Emotions!


Health/Beauty, Latest | by — November 18, 2013

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Sometimes you have this feeling and you are overwhelmed with emotions. One minute you’re happy and the very next you could punch a hole in the wall. How did this happen? How can you go from one emotional extreme to another? You think you are in control, but from the highs and lows you continue to experience, it is clear your emotions have a mind of their own.

At the age of 15 I was a hormonal nightmare. If being rude and crude were on the agenda, I had them both mastered. Everyone kept talking about this “hormonal change” teenagers experienced and looking back, I heard them but I had no idea what they were talking about.  I associated hormonal changes with three (3) things: sex, menstruation, and bigger boobs. My culture didn’t advocate psychological counseling to growing teens; it advocated condoms and birth control. The message I received was, “You are going through puberty and your sex drive has increased. Protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases by using condoms. Oh and because you’ve started you’re cycle, you’ll need to get on some sort of birth control- it’s free at the health department.” While all of this is very true, trust me when I say, the puberty Heidiroller coaster does not stop there. The surcharge in hormones generates a lot of different and heightened emotions.

Most teenagers experience brief bouts of chemical imbalances.  A lot of teens are able to deal with the influx of hormones, but some have a very hard time adjusting and slip into a deep depression. As someone who has been diagnosed with depression and treated, it is sometimes hard to know when you need to seek medical attention.  Studies suggest that if it is hard for you to get along with others or if you are experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol, you could be experiencing depression. It is also suggested that if you have difficulty getting motivated for school or classroom assignments you might be in a state of depression. Unfortunately, this information isn’t entirely helpful to a teenager. Hello studies?? What teenager doesn’t find it hard to get along with at least one person? What teenager doesn’t experiment with drugs or alcohol? And who in the hell wants to go to school?? In my opinion, this is what makes it hard for a teenager to know what depression looks or feels like. Are you just being a “teenager” or are you on the verge of a mental breakdown? The reality is: the things that categorize depression (the warning signs) are symptoms every teenager experiences. But as common as the symptoms might be, they are not to be ignored.

I experienced depression when I was 19 years old. Because the disease runs in my family, I was very familiar with the symptoms and able to know when I needed to seek help. For me, I knew something was different when I no longer wanted to be around my friends and family. I am a very socially involved person and when my bed sounded better than a Friday night bonfire, I knew something was wrong. If you do not feel like yourself, do not simply account it puberty. Seek professional help and get treatment. When I say treatment your initial thought is probably something like Cymbalta or Abilify. While some forms of depression do require medications, not all treatments end with prescription drugs. I treated my depression with counseling and by journalism about my feelings. I did spend a few months on an anti-depressant, but as I quickly regained control of my emotions the anti-depressant became unnecessary. Even though I knew the symptoms associated with depression, I would have never known how to treat my depression. This condition is an illness, and as with any illness, it is best to have the disease treated by a licensed medical professional.  According to online reporting site Health line, women are twice as likely as men to experience depression and approximately 80% of people who have symptoms [of depression] do not receive any sort of medical attention. The statistics for mental health are alarming. Hundreds of people experience mental instability and go untreated every day.

You cannot see your brain or your feelings, but you know they are there. They are intricate parts of who you are that can’t be ignored. As a teen you aren’t really sure what is going on with your mind, your emotions, or your body- and that is okay. But when you are in serious doubt, seek help! Talk to a mentor who has been where you are; ask her what puberty was like for her. It is normal to be uncomfortable talking about your feelings, but that does not mean they are to be ignored. As important as it is to maintain a healthy body, it is just as important to maintain a healthy mind.

Remember it all comes back to being in touch with yourself and knowing who you are. You have a long road of emotional changes ahead ladies, welcome it with grace.

Until next time peace, love, mental health and beauty.

-Heidi Thomas