LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A STEM-focused all-girls charter school in Las Vegas is working to turn vulnerable young teens into leaders.
Girls Empowerment Middle School, known as “GEMS” is the first all-girls charter school in Las Vegas and they are one of 8 News Now’s Community Pride recipients.
8 News Now first met Kobe last year when she had just transferred to “GEMS” as a seventh grader. Now a year older and wiser, she is ready to tackle what’s next because of the foundation she received at the school.
“I feel good. I really do not want to leave but I know there’s a lot in my future that I cannot wait to see and see where it takes me,” Kobe said. “There’s a class here called empowerment and the teacher, she really teaches you how to be yourself, how to respect yourself, mental health.”
Students at “GEMS” get to focus on core subjects with an emphasis on STEM education, without the distraction of boys.
“Their leadership skills are improved. They’re more open to sharing their thoughts and ideas,” Iris Saulsberry said. “They feel more empowered that way and all this leads to academic achievement and academic success.”
Saulsberry teaches health at “GEMS,” where movement starts the class and inspires productivity. She is breaking down barriers with encouragement and enthusiasm.
“They come in with these problems already so we have to try to maneuver through that so we can educate,” Saulsberry said. “Once we get all that out of the way we have seen it here, they are so much better.”
Kobe said that the small class sizes help with that.
“I do think that because it’s a smaller school that the teachers have a better connection with all the kids and that does with the encouragement,” Kobe told 8 News Now.
“GEMS” is tuition-free, supporting students financially, academically, and emotionally.
“Everyone is always in a good mood and they’re always boosting your confidence and making you feel good about yourself. So I definitely think that’s a plus for young girls who do want to come to this school,” Kobe said.