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National Career Club With Metro Area Chapters
At-Risk In-School Youth and Adults
Prototype Website Call Today: (800) 640-2183
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HomeFounder



Jim Harris, Founder
Pearls Who Prosper Career Club
Social Entrepreneur
Former Commercial Bank President/CEO
St. Louis, MO

Small Business Financial Consultant (Retired)
Growth Strategies, Lending, 504 Capital
Atlanta, GA


MBA 1971, Cornell University
Corporation Finance
Ithaca, New York

B.A. 1969, Lemoyne-Owen College
Memphis, TN

"Go as far as you can see. When you get there you can see farther."

Learn More At My Website













 















My Purpose
My purpose is to create a Career Prosperity Guidance System called the "Road to Becoming" that enables "Pearls" to convert career dreams into career prosperity.

My Mission
My mission is to identify pearls of all ages across America and cultivate within them career growth mindsets that empower them to prosper.

My Vision
My vision is 480 chapters in four divisions of the PWP career club in 40 metro areas  serving 8,000 at-risk students and adults in various stages of career development.  


The Problem: The Poverty Mindset That Produces Unfulfilled Careers 
Across our great nation, many high schools are "losing" far too many aspirational low-income and at-risk youth because of a poverty mindset. This is a set of beliefs about career success based on living in poverty or in an at-risk low-income household. These beliefs impact attitudes and perspectives. They produce students who do not perform well in school, and do not have access to individualized career counseling they need.  
 

No Career Counseling in High School
The courses offered in high school provide textbook knowledge, but not career knowledge. Tests are designed to measure what they have learned, not what they aspire to become in life. The student to counselor ratio is 500 to 1. Of course, counseling is needed, but not available.  

No Career Strategies
Given the competitive nature of our world, each pearl needs a personal career strategy, a plan for career success based on his or her natural interests, talents and abilities.     


Lack of Skill Development
The educational pipeline, the system that moves students through high school and college frequently fails to develop skills required to prosper. And, of course, it does not address
the issue of poverty mindset. So, despite their potential, many spend their entire lives in poverty.  


Issues In College 
Many pearls do not graduate from high school. But many do, and go on to college. According to Complete College America, only 5% of students complete their associate degrees within 2 years, only 19% of students complete their bachelor's degree within 4 years.   
The Skills Gap
Many employers are experiencing difficulties finding job candidates with the right skills. This Skills Gap in America cuts across industries and employers. It reflects the loss of our pearls in high school, in college, and in work life.   

The Solution - A Career Club To Empower Pearls  
Pearls Who Prosper is a chapter-based, skill development, growth-facilitating career club for pearls.     

High School Youth
Pearls in high school desire to be on the road to becoming the best they can be in career life. They develop college plans, career plans, prosperity plans and community service plans. They compete to develop skills.  

College Youth
In college, pearls receive degree mentoring, career advice, job readiness skills, financial guidance, internships, and work life jumpstart services.   

Work Life Youth (Up to 30 years old)
In work life pearls achieve breakthroughs and milestones through skill development challenges.   

My Value Philosophy
I believe that each pearl possesses the natural gifts and talents to prosper.

I believe that prosperity is based on personal fulfillment, which is based on a growth mindset, not a poverty mindset. 

I believe that each pearl has economic value based on measurable personal growth that continues through career life.    

My Story and My Career
In 1947, I was born at the former John Gaston Hospital in Memphis, TN. to an unmarried mother, the daughter of  Mississippi sharecroppers who never finished the 8th grade. She lived her life in poverty with no career aspirations. But she loved me unconditionally.

In 1965, I graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in downtown  Memphis, TN. Until 12th grade, I was job-bound. (I had no resources for college, and my mother's goal for me was to graduate to get a good government job.) But in my senior year, good fortune intervened in my life. My new home room teacher told me that I was "college material" and, despite no resources or family support, I believed her! Thanks to her powerful intervention, I added courses and took the ACT, enabling me to apply to Lemoyne College. I was accepted with a 2-yr academic scholarship. Four years later, I graduated from Lemoyne-Owen College with a B.S in Sociology & Economics. With a full fellowship (Graduate School of Business, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.) I went straight to graduate school. 

Two years later, as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and with an MBA in Corporation Finance, I was hired as the Executive Assistant to Odell Horton, then President of Lemoyne-Owen College. Thirteen years later, at 35 years old, I was President/CEO of Gateway National Bank, St. Louis, MO. I thought that was the best I could be. Not so! Later, in Atlanta, I created and led a $12 million entrepreneurial development loan fund. I went on to create a capital development consulting firm, specializing in Regulation D 504 private offerings of exempt securities up to $1 Million for small businesses.   

In 2001, I went into early retirement at the urging of my 92-year-old sick father who had no one else to care for him. I became his full-time caregiver.

Years later as a volunteer for Bell Community Services, I became aware of some significant challenges facing our public education system. So, after my mother and father passed, I decided to develop an encore career. My mind ran back to that high school teacher whose intervention, when I was an at-risk youth, was the turning point in my life.    




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