Sonia Chess: reaching young girls in the community
Mentor prepares young women for a successful future
Ashley Montgomery | 5/1/2014, 9 a.m.
Sonia Chess has an unique way to mentor hundreds of young girls around South Florida. As author of “Princess Bria: The Great I Am! A Bedtime Story," Chess uses wisdom from her troubled past to help younger generations achieve a better future.
“There are a few girls that I mentor daily,” Chess said. “I help them with homework, social skills, issues dealing with relationships, questions that they may have about themselves.”
On Saturday, May 3, Princess and Pearls Literacy Brunch will take place in Opa-locka [630 Sharar Ave] from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chess says she is dedicated to bringing young girls and women together for a great cause and looks forward to seeing everyone at the event.
With her first children’s book released and in the hands of hundreds within the community, Princess Bria has become a well-known character at all of her events.
“I wanted it to be a bedtime story where Princess Bria is someone that wants to save the world,” Chess said. “It’s all about empowering children. In the book she’s trying to do everything to save the world all just before bed. I wanted to show them that anything is possible.”
Chess is currently working on a series of children’s books. She has done several projects with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, such as Parkway Middle students in Miami Gardens.
“I am currently working closely with students at the school to help them publish a book about the school closing,” Chess said. “The book is about their thoughts of them being the last class.”
The book titled, “Greatness is a Journey: The Last Class Standing” should be out in June. It will feature collective thoughts of the students on all of their personal experiences throughout their journey at the school.
Princess and Pearls, a mentoring program, was founded in 2012. Since its inception, Chess has taught girls in the program valuable skills in leadership, social protocols, etiquette, anti-bullying and proper English.
“I started the program because I wanted to instill a sense of worth and value in children and young adults,” Chess said. “I was emotionally and physically abused as a child which led to low self-esteem and ultimately poor choices.”
Chess says she was able to find her true self again, thanks to someone coming and mentoring her. She believes that forming the Princess and Pearls program is a way to give back.
“I think it’s so important to be able to identify with their experiences and issues,” Chess said. She encourages all of the girls in her program to keep a diary so that they can log their personal growth and experiences.
Chess is on a mission to make a difference in young girls’ lives across the world.
“I want to be a change agent, life coach and author for young women to look up to and be able to believe that they can make a difference in their lives — no matter where they are from.”
A woman on a mission, Chess is planning to one day open a charm school called Princess Elite Society. Chess is looking forward to the success of her Princess and Pearls program. She is already seeing her efforts pay off as the community grows.
"I just see myself as a servant and a leader for this community,” Chess said.