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MAKING A MARK: Woman creates mentor program for girls after witnessing tragedy

Devona Boone, the founder of 'Precious G.E.M.S.' mentoring program, says her pain helped her find her purpose.

Devona Boone was just 10 years old when she tragically lost her biggest supporter.

"My mom was brutally murdered in front of me," Boone says. "She was killed by her boyfriend. Stabbed 27 times."

Overcome with grief and fear, Boone felt lost and alone. "I went from having everything that I needed and knowing that I was secure and safe, to not knowing anything- where I was gonna stay that night, who was gonna take care of me," Boone says. 

"I went through a lot of things in my life, trying to figure out who I was and what love was... and what love was supposed to look like, because I didn't have a very good example of what love really was."

But despite the horrific loss of her mother, Boone decided to push herself to move forward and eventually achieve her life goals. 

"I was like, 'I cannot live like this. I'm gonna make sure I get good grades. I'm gonna go to college. I'm gonna do everything that I need to do to make sure I get out of this life and that I don't follow down the same path as my mom," Boone says.

Now, Boone is helping pre-teen and teen girls reach success through her mentorship organization, 'Precious Girls Empowering Mind and Spirit', also known as 'Precious G.E.M.S.' 

"I've been through a lot of things, and I learned life lessons the hard way," Boone says. "So, I started to dream about helping other young girls overcome their tragedies and hardships throughout life."

Through positive role models and motivational activities, Boone says she just wants young girls to have the support they need. "It's just about just showing them that there's somebody always in their corner and that they're never alone. Because a lot of times, I felt alone going through life and all the struggles that I went through," Boone says. "I believe that they need to know that somebody cares, and we're gonna be there."

To learn more about Precious G.E.M.S., call 757-556-6050, email pgemsinc@gmail.com, or visit preciousgemsinc.org. 

Boone also wrote a memoir. She discusses the loss of her mother to domestic violence and how it impacted her life. 'A Precious GEM: The Journey of My Shaping' can be purchased through Amazon.

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