Split the Plate is one of UUCW’s programs of outreach and generosity. Each month we give half of all undesignated offering monies to a non-profit organization as a way to help us live our Unitarian Universalist Values and serve our community.
PEARLS for Teen Girls is improving quality of life and strengthening our community one girl at a time by empowering young women with self-development tools, guidance and support to strive for better, brighter futures by living out the PEARLS values: Personal Responsibility, Empathy, Awareness, Respect, Leadership and Support.
During these pandemic times, PEARLS has expanded its virtual programming and increased the ability to reach and serve new girls like Andrea.
Her name is Andrea. She is a 12th grader at Golda Meir High School. Andrea is a gifted artist and was a dancer for many years before health complications sidelined her. She lost the ability to walk. The road to recovery was not easy. As she puts it, “Through it all, I was not supported in the ways I deserved.” With grit and determination, she relearned how to walk. When Andrea connected with PEARLS virtual programming this summer, she was already bringing PEARLS values with her.
Girls Empower Girls
Andrea never let the challenges she faced affect her outlook on life. She told us, “I won’t let my past define me. Your environment doesn’t define who you are and who you become.” In her PEARLS group, she felt valued for everything she had become. “I felt empowered, seen and heard,” she says she wishes she would have been able to join PEARLS sooner. “PEARLS gives you that boost of self-confidence and feeling of support.” “At PEARLS, I’m not alone. I feel beautiful and accepted for who I am.” Even virtually, Andrea felt the magic of PEARLS.
Our Silver Lining
Andrea is continuing with PEARLS programming this fall through our virtual groups. She’s thrilled to be a part of the PEARLS family and excited to take advantage of our College and Career Readiness program. She is considering a career in Art Therapy and Andrea has started dancing again. She tells us, “Don’t let anything hold you back. Take risks.”
To support PEARLS any time this month, go to the UUCW website’s “Donate” tab and select “Split the Plate” from the menu provided. Or you can text “UUCW” to 73256 or mail your donation to Unitarian Universalist Church West, 13001 W. North Ave., Brookfield, WI 53005.
For more information about PEARLS, contact February’s Split the Plate representative Judi Traband.