Born and raised in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, Persha left her home island after high school to attend Benedict College in Columbia, SC where she was a tri-athlete, playing volleyball, basketball and softball on athletic scholarships. Not only was she a top athlete, leading her volleyball team as MVP to win four consecutive conference championships, but she also had a talent for performing and pageantry and was crowned Miss Benedict College queen 1999-2000.
Persha went on to attend graduate school at Indiana University where she obtained her Master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She then moved to New York to complete her graduate internship as well as to pursue her dreams of modeling, however due to the tragic events of 9/11, her plans of remaining in New York were short lived. In 2001, while visiting some friends in Maryland, she was encouraged to consider moving to the DMV. It didn’t take much convincing, as she went back to NY, packed her bags and permanently moved to the Maryland. Persha secured a job as a therapist working at one of the areas largest mental and behavioral health facilities. She remains at this facility after 16 years, where she is the Clinical Supervisor of a team of Expressive Therapists.
Persha has a passion for helping others and working with at-risk youth. She believes that the area of Mental and Behavioral Health is her calling and feels fortunate to be able to influence the lives of the patients she works with daily who are suffering from mental illness. Persha is an advocate for removing the stigma in Mental Health so that those suffering from mental illness will feel empowered to get the support they need to better cope and function in society.
In line with her athleticism and competitive spirit in sports, Persha is also a fighter and survivor in her personal life. In 2003 she was diagnosed with systemic lupus and early in her diagnosis was literally fighting for her life due to complications from the illness. Today the lupus is in remission and she finds purpose as a lupus ambassador with the Snow Companies and GlaxoSmithKline, having the opportunity to travel and share her story of hope with the community and others living with lupus.
Persha is the proud mother of two miracles, her 10 year old son Immanuel and 5 year old daughter Zoë. She is passionate about staying active and promoting health and wellness and currently leads the health and wellness ministry at her church. She welcomes adventure and a good challenge and is proud to be amongst the “Tough Mudder” legionnaires. Outside of her regular 9-5 job, Persha has two home based businesses. In line with her love of travel and culture, and her love of the Creative Arts, she is a Certified Travel Agent and she owns a jewelry business, www.prettypersha.bigcartel.com, where she creates unique hand made designs.
Persha’s greatest desire is to live a life that’s purposeful and pleasing to God, focusing not so much on what she can get out of this life, but instead on what she can give.