12/15/10 — Show is result of an effort to build self-esteem in girls

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Show is result of an effort to build self-esteem in girls

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 15, 2010 1:46 PM

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Quisha Vaughn, a participant in the Perfectly Imperfect program, poses during rehearsal for a fashion show to be held Friday at 7:20 p.m. at Herman Park Center. Perfectly Imperfect is a non-profit program for teenage girls that focuses on life skills and self-esteem. Proceeds will support the program, with a portion also designated to another local effort, Girls on the Run.

Brandi Matthews diverted a career as a lawyer to build self-esteem in young girls.

"I have always had a passion for girls and just people in general," the Goldsboro native said.

After about six years of volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, she was offered a position as membership director, working from 2005-06 with the Smart Girls program there.

Returning to college at Elizabeth City State University for a degree in criminal justice, she said she intended to go to law school but "put everything on hold" to help with the family business.

In July, she embarked on a business plan of her own -- a program for girls 12 to 18 years old called "Perfectly Imperfect."

For the past semester, she has worked with about a dozen female students at Goldsboro High School and once a week leads a program for elementary girls at Westhaven Community Center.

At the high school, Ms. Matthews works closely with Sudie Davis of Communities in Schools and Barbara Wilkins, graduation coach at the school. In addition to preparing students for the WorkKeys employment test, the effort emphasizes the importance of a good education and provides peer and group mentoring and an after school program. The curriculum also covers teen pregnancy prevention, hygiene and self-esteem.

As it wraps up for the semester, Ms. Matthews said she anticipates the possibility of continuing it for the remainder of the school year.

Meanwhile, she is planning the first public event for the "Perfectly Imperfect" group from the high school. The entertainment and "coming out show" will be held at Herman Park Center on Friday at 7:20 p.m.

"It will introduce my program, but this part is for them, to highlight them and what they have been doing," she said. "Step of Class will perform and the girls will be in the fashion show."

The public is invited to attend. Tickets are $2 in advance, $4 at the door.

Proceeds will benefit the program and a percentage will be donated to "Girls on the Run," which promotes physical fitness and activities among youth.

For more information or to obtain tickets, contact Sharon Matthews at 273-2081.