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Our Mentors

Our mentors share a passion to ensure that every girl is given the opportunity to succeed in any endeavor they undertake. Our mentors approach every challenge with positive solutions.


Mrs. Edna Ellison is the founder and visionary of The Gem in Me Girls Mentoring Program, an organization designed to create a safe place for young girls to become better versions of themselves. Unveiling the Gem that lies within each of them. Her inspiration came from building relationships with elementary school aged girls that felt very comfortable in confiding with her. Mrs. Edna aka "Mama E" considers the young ladies as her own children with her love and compassion that she has for each one individually. She is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a First Lady. 


Dr. Shelly Harris is a proud wife, mother and educator.  She has been blessed with opportunities to serve many students and families throughout her 29 years in education as a classroom teacher, academic facilitator, assistant principal and principal.  She currently works as a District MTSS Specialist with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.  As a mother of three young men, she is a proponent of mentoring youth as they transition to adulthood.  She believes that providing our youth with close, healthy and supportive relationships is extremely important in today's world. 


Shay HajBana is an educator with six years of experience working in an early childhood center and elementary schools. She holds a Bachelor's in Psychology from North Carolina A&T State University and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. Working with children has always been a passion for Shay. She has previous experience mentoring and facilitated workshops that empower young girls and teens. Shay believes every girl can succeed and achieve their dreams.  


I am Nerissa Morrison,  a Charlotte Native and mother of 4. I have 2 girls and 2 boys and one grandson. My oldest daughter is a kindergartner 

teacher in Durham. I have a bachelor's in social work and master's in human services and I am currently in school for a post graduate business management certificate and be starting my teaching certification in February. I have worked with children and their families for over 20 years from social services, juvenile justice, and mentoring programs. Education is my passion. 

I love to travel with my family and, I love taking vacation by myself as well. I love seafood and going to the beach year-round. I love music and dancing!! 

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