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Cincinnati Police Department and Girls with Pearls work together to motivate young leaders

Posted: 5:09 AM, Feb 24, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-24 20:07:23-05
Girls with Pearls from Ethel M. Taylor Academy next to Cincinnati Police Officer Princess Davis
Cincinnati Police Officer Princess Davis speaking to girls from Ethel M. Taylor Academy

CINCINNATI — When Princess Davis first walked into a classroom of students at Ethel M. Taylor Academy, some of the students were talking about how they were afraid of her because she's a police officer.

"That's probably all they see," Davis said. "The negative side of policing -- on a regular basis."

Which is why Davis, who has been a Cincinnati Police officer for 27 years, partners with Girls with Pearls, an initiative that helps teach girls to be leaders.

Girls with Pearls from Ethel M. Taylor Academy next to Cincinnati Police Officer Princess Davis
Girls with Pearls from Ethel M. Taylor Academy next to Cincinnati Police Officer Princess Davis

"Oh my God, I am so passionate about people," said Davis, who said she sees herself in the girls. "To have the young ladies coming up through the public schools, it does something to my heart to know that I can play a part in empowering them to be the women that God created them to be."

Fifth grader Makyla Scott wasn't sure about meeting Davis at first.

Cincinnati Police Officer Princess Davis speaking to girls from Ethel M. Taylor Academy
Cincinnati Police Officer Princess Davis speaking to girls from Ethel M. Taylor Academy

"I get nervous around a lot of stuff, and it's scary sometimes because you never know what could happen," Scott said. "Anything can happen at any time, and I get scared easily."

But that mentality quickly shifted once Davis made the girls stand up and exclaim: "I'm a leader!"

"I learned how to keep myself safe no matter where I'm at," Scott said. "I learned things about being a police officer. I learned that I can protect myself no matter where I am, and there's always a place I should be able to go to if I'm in danger."

Davis said she is happy that she can help create leaders in the community while changing some people's minds about law enforcement.

"If I do nothing else, I want to be able to encourage and empower these young ladies," Davis said. "You're looking at some future gems in this city, do you hear me?"