PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A woman raised in North Philadelphia is going back to her old neighborhood once a week. We found her giving brotherly love and sisterly affection to young girls, and she has drafted college students to help.
At Penrose Recreation Center in North Philadelphia, girls flip through magazines, cutting and pasting pictures and letters onto poster boards to create tangible visions of their futures.
Yinaira Blackwell, 14, said the boards symbolize, “What we want to be when we grow up and what we can do to achieve that goal.”
Lynia Lee, 13, clipped a picture of actress Viola Davis, who is on one of her favorite TV shows. “She was a lawyer, and I want to be a lawyer,” Lynia said.
This is part of a free 10-week girls program called Queen’s Code. It’s the brainchild of 28-year-old Tierra Jones, a medical auditor who grew up here and now lives in Chestnut Hill.
“They’re surrounded by mentors that are in college, that they can look up to and grow with,” Tierra said.
Jamie Harvey, 22, is one of those college students. The Penn State Harrisburg student not only offers her free time, she offers an ear.
“Anytime they need help like with school or something, I’m only a phone call away,” Jamie said.
Tierra says she wants these girls to build confidence and imagination.
“Some of them wouldn’t speak when they came. They were shy,” Tierra said. Now the girls are presenting their ideas to the whole room.
Monyria Harvey, 11, thinks she would like to be a nurse. She has other visions too. “I put a person dancing because I like to dance,” Monyria said.
Tierra wants the girls to know that the first step to making anything come true is dreaming about it.
Tierra Jones’ non-profit, A.T.T.R.A.C.T. Philly, sponsors several programs for young people. You can reach it at www.attractphilly.org.