Unearthing hidden gifts and talents
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: May 14, 2013
It was just a few short years ago that 19-year-old Tatianeia Rolle would have hauled off and punched you in the face or literally beat you down, simply because you made the mistake of looking at her in what she perceived to be the wrong way. And she got into fights often. Today she admits that she has an anger problem that she says she has learnt to control to the point where if she does get angry about a look or something someone says to her, she doesn’t say anything at all. And she says it’s all because of what she has learned at the Butterfly Club.
The Butterfly Club is a club for girls between the age of 10 and 18 (they have had younger participants) with a vision for girls and young women to reach their full potential through the process of change, in an effort to impact their families, communities, country and the world.
The club’s mission is to mentor girls and young women through empowerment and transformation, recognizing that each individual has hidden treasures (gifts and talents) waiting to be discovered.
Through mentorship the girls are encouraged to develop their true beauty and self-esteem. They speak to them about sexual purity and abstinence, hygiene, etiquette and wellness. The girls are also talked to about their future and topics that include college, career, entrepreneurship and money management. They are also spoken to about the wisdom to learn from the experience of others. The girls also learn what it means to be a leader.
Rolle was 16 when she was invited to her first Butterfly Club meeting from one of its founders, Patrice Paul, who attends her church. Rolle said topics that were addressed — the mother/daughter relationship, and how young ladies should present themselves — during her first meeting spoke to her. She’s been attending meetings ever since. Now she helps out in the role of an aid, helping to start up discussions and ensuring that girls show up for meetings.
“I wanted to get some knowledge,” said Rolle of why she attended that initial meeting. “It was interesting at first, but when they started to speak and get into it, they really related to me because I had no one to teach me. [And] the other discussions talking about mental and emotional states really got to me. I had an anger issue and the Butterfly Club has really helped me with that. They showed me that anger is not the only emotion you can have. The mentors at Butterfly Club were like mothers,” she said.
“The main objective of the Butterfly Club is to deal with the transformation of the mind, to get girls to change their mind and view as to what true beauty is,” said Patrice Paul, a founding member of the club. “We teach inner beauty and outer beauty, but the beauty we really focus on mainly is emerging beauty which we call potential. We try to get the girls to see that they are beautiful inside and out.”
The club started out in October 2004 as a seminar during which they promoted entrepreneurial, career and schooling, with a seminar in Quakoo Street Urban Renewal Center. Paul said the parents said more than just a seminar was needed to reach the girls and monthly meetings held on the last Saturday in each month was the result with the formation of the Butterfly Club. The core group that founded the organization comprised Paul, Antonise Collie, Alma Knowles, Dr. Kenice Paul and Otalia Pinder-Whylly — singers in a group called Inner Harmony.
Since those early days, there are now four operational Butterfly Clubs —one at Centreville Primary for 45 sixth grade students (A coach goes in to conduct the club meeting every Monday between 12 noon and 1 p.m.). There is a club at the Community Center at Coke Methodist Church that meets the last Saturday in every month. There is one at Bethany Assembly and one at the Urban Renewal Center on Deveaux Street.
At the last Deveaux Street club meeting, 22 girls were in attendance. There were 18 at the Soldier Road club and at Coke Methodist, 12 girls were in attendance.
“A club like this is important because when I was younger, I didn’t think there was enough women that mentored girls to say you can do this and be the best you can be. And whatever gifts and talents you have, you can use those gifts and talents to make yourself a better person, to make your community better, to make your world better, so I was very shy,” said Paul. “I want girls to know that even though they may be shy, there are things in them that are untapped that they need to tap into.
Paul also said it is important for girls to know for themselves that they are sexy and do not need a boy to tell them that they are sexy.
The girls promise to love, honor and respect themselves and others. And to believe that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and are being transformed to discover their hidden gifts and talents. During club meetings they promise that with God’s help, others and their own commitment that they will reach their full potential.
According to Tatianeia, for her, The Butterfly Club means change and the opportunity for girls to develop into something better than they already are, in the direction God wants them to go.
“I would recommend it (Butterfly Club) to girls because I think all females can benefit from the Butterfly Club,” she said.