Grace Harvey is the founder of the Pink –N- Pearls 4 Girls, a growing mentorship program for girls under 18 in the River Region. Since the founding of Pink-N-Pearl 4 Girls in 2011, Harvey was nominated for the River Region Volunteer of the Year Award and her organization was recently received the Proclamation Signing of Pink –N- Pearls 4 Girls by Governor Bentley of Alabama.

I started Pink –N- Pearls 4 Girls right in my own living room almost five years ago. I wanted an organization for youth that would focus on education, family involvement, and emotional intelligence. By volunteering and working in the community with youth and families for over 15 years [through work at the Montgomery Community Action Agency Head Start], I realized that there were needs in these areas that we should focus on with the youth.

During my time working in the schools and in classrooms, I experienced a tremendous amount of children not being able to control their anger. I believe it’s important to show our children other ways to handle situations in a positive way. I created age-appropriate programs fostering education, family involvement, and emotional intelligence for all ages 2-18 years old within the Pink –N- Pearls 4 Girls Organization. Now we also have an auxiliary program for boys: Man 2 Man.

At first, I felt that the job alone was too big for me to handle. How in the world can I save and help all of these children that need help beyond my control. I was very overwhelmed. I was really about to give up, but I discovered that I do not have to do this alone. There are others out here that want to make a difference as well. So, I learned the importance of partnership and coming together for the greater cause. I partnered with other organizations that specialized in concentrated areas that I could refer the children and families to when needed. I gained knowledge and more skills just through partnering with other organizations. It was good to know that I have a support system that shares the same dreams and goals as I do.

Jesus Christ is my inspiration. This has been a long journey. There were bumpy roads and will be more bumpy roads ahead. But that’s where faith comes in to action. He has provided me and opened doors for me in countless ways. This lets me know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. My purpose is being fulfilled.

Sometimes it can be a wedge between my kids and I when they want mommy to themselves. I had to sacrifice a lot of my time. I had my biological kids and the kids that I work with share me.

I became their teacher, mentor, friend, and sister. Not only with the kids, but with their parents too.

The coolest thing about my job is that I am able to connect with children in a very special way. That is a gift. It takes special people to be able to connect with kids. I love seeing a light bulb go off in a child’s head when they have learned something new and extremely proud of what they have learned. You have to have a passion for what you do with these children and families every day. Your passion is first. My motto is give wholeheartedly, not halfheartedly.

BlackTie Magazine