"Breaking Cycles of Poverty"
Lovie’s Pearls gives teen moms a chance to re-focus their lives, now as mothers, to create a positive future for themselves and their children: proving that through education, love, guidance and self-determination, their lives will be changed.
"Destined to Succeed"
Lovie’s Pearls envisions nationwide second chance homes for teen moms and their babies, giving them the proper environment, encouragement and edification to care for their babies and become self-sufficient members of society; while also lowering the percentage of repeat teen births.
"Educate, Edify, Empower"
Through various workshops and mentoring our teen moms receive education, skills and support in areas that can enrich them as they learn to balance life, school, work and motherhood. They also learn the importance of setting and achieving personal goals. Our program includes education in parenting, finances and self-care awareness. We also offer scholarships, SAT/ACT prep and assistance with completing college admissions and financial aid.
"To Know Me Is To Know My Story"
Support groups formed to provide a safe environment to talk about whatever teen moms have on their minds; exchange stories and information that can be invaluable for those seeking answers; make connections with others facing similar challenges; get emotional support to help eliminate the feeling of isolation.
We received our first grant this year from Verizon: Upgrade It, through the Houston Fund for Social Justice and Economic Equality (HEF), to continue and expand our programming. This Houston Fund was created to enact transformational change by investing resources into organizations and initiatives that empower and uplift communities of color. Because Lovie’s Pearls aligns with two of its pillars (Youth Empowerment and Education, and Economic Development) we qualified to receive this grant. And we will have the opportunity to apply for many more to come!
We are working to open a facility that will serve as a multipurpose center.
Family-style structured homes where teen moms will develop and/or restore character, responsibility and integrity while gaining the tools needed to create a loving and safe environment for themselves and their children. Lovie’s Pearls first Second Chance Home coming soon.
From Los Angeles to Houston, God's vision remained; to provide a safe space for teen moms to thrive and succeed. I am purposed for THIS!
Making a difference, one family at a time!
I am from New Orleans, LA and have been married to the love of my life for 15 years. I wanted to be a part of Lovie’s Pearls so I can encourage young teens not to give up on their dreams; show them God’s love; and guide them on their journey of parenthood.
As a Lovie's Pearls Board member, I am here to serve each and every young mother with grace. I want you to know that this is only the beginning. I want to be a part of the team that sees you win. Thank you for letting me serve you.
It's all about putting these young women in a position to succeed.
Elisha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2007, I was listening to Oprah talk about her school for girls that she started in Africa, and I began to seriously ponder in what way I can help others. I say seriously because I have always liked helping people and do so privately in whatever way I can based on their need. But this desire that I was feeling was bigger than that. And what came to me was homes for teenage mothers. Wow, I thought! Where did that come from? Right away, I knew it was from God. It was nothing that I could have come up with on my own because I did not know there was a need for it. It would take me years later to fully understand just how much of a need it truly is.
After relocating to Houston, TX (from Los Angeles, CA) in 2009 and taking some time to get settled, I began to put more thought into the vision God had given me. And in 2012 I established Lovie's Pearls as a nonprofit organization. Of course, coming up with the name was no simple task but just as God gave me the vision, He gave me the name. I initially came up with Divinity House but wanted to represent both sides of my family. So I played around with names, even ones that were non-family related. Then it hit me! My paternal grandmother's name was Lovie and my maternal grandmother's name was Pearlina. Lovie's Pearls was perfect for what I envisioned for this organization. I knew love would be one of the key ingredients in reshaping the lives of these young mothers, and I remembered what I had learned about how pearls are made. I knew then I was on to something that was much bigger than me.
Unfortunately, with some of life's ups and downs, there were several stops, starts and delays in getting Lovie's Pearls off the ground. But the thoughts and ideas and passion for it would not leave me alone. In 2018 I become determined that I would start again and not stop. Because I thought that trying to create housing for the teen moms was too big of a project for me, I tried to kickoff the support groups that I and a couple of others created a curriculum for, but to no avail. It was a slow and disappointing process until I finally realized that nothing was going to work until I got back to the vision God gave me, homes for teen moms. I had to remember this was not about me and therefore was not about what I could do, but what He could do through me. As soon as I wrapped my brain around this, things seemed to begin to fall in place. On December 21, 2019, Lovie's Pearls hosted its first annual Christmas Luncheon. With the help of sponsors we granted the wish lists of 9 teen moms and gave away a large number of donated items.
I'm looking forward to all that 2020 has in store for Lovie's Pearls, including becoming certified as a Child Placement Agency so that we can begin placing teen moms and their babies in foster homes. And from there being able to provide private placement for those that are not in the foster care system.
We're always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc - but we've spoken with enough people to know that it's not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely not been a smooth road! As I stated above there have been many starts and stops and disappointments. I've experienced personal setbacks that interfered with me doing what was needed to get Lovie's Pearls up and running. As well as me coming to grips with having tried to divert the vision. Another major struggle is funding. It is difficult to get grants and donations as a start-up organization, but not impossible. I'm hoping that some of the major roadblocks will now be removed since we are making progress.
We'd love to hear more about your organization.
Lovie's Pearls is a charitable 50 l (c)(3) organization designed to assist teen moms with education, permanent housing and life coaching. Our vision is to create second chance homes for teen moms and their babies, giving them the proper environment, encouragement and edification to care for their babies and become self-sufficient members of society; while also lowering the percentage of repeat teen births. It is our mission to give teen moms a chance to re-focus their lives, now as mothers, to create a positive future for themselves and their children: proving that with education, love, guidance and self-determination, their lives con be changed.
I am most proud of our organization because it is about reaching out and helping others, not just for temporary assistance, but to redirect the paths of their lives. What sets us apart from other organizations that assist teen moms is our goal to find permanent housing and provide life-changing, endless results.
Anyone can support Lovie's Pearls by donating funds, purchasing items for teens and babies, or volunteering your services and/or time. Many companies match their employees' charitable contributions, and this is an easy way to generate more funding to support our cause.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
While I do not frown upon the use of the word luck, I use it myself, but to answer this question, I would not refer to luck having anything to do with what has happened in my life or with Lovie's Pearls. This is all by God's design, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have truly been blessed. But there were also things that had to happen so that I could learn from them, to change the direction I was headed in, to strengthen me, to encourage me and to get my attention. He causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I feel that I am finally in a place in my life where I can live out a major purpose that I was created for, to help others. And that is just what Lovie's Pearls is designed to do.