is a program that is working. Started in 1993 by Colleen Fitzgerald as a totally volunteer effort, it has grown into a program that served 688 girls in 2008 at approximately 13 different schools and youth serving organizations.
With weekly meetings, a typical PEARLS session features a guided conversation led by a highly trained Adult Program Coordinator and Teen Facilitator. Topics might include school, relationships with family, friends, and boys, careers, health or whatever the girls identify as pressing issues for them. Through these discussions, PEARLS girls practice important skills such as articulating ideas, clarifying beliefs, and learning to listen to and respect the ideas of their peers and adult mentors.