Jefferson Award: Tiffany Purnell

Tiffany Purnell teaches third grade at East Elementary School.

“Just being a teacher, I see these girls struggle with self-esteem and I see how it affects their grades and who they are,” said Purnell.

She decided to do something about it. Three years ago, she started SASH: Students Against Self Hatred, for girls in second through sixth grade.

“They write positive affirmations in mirrors and just tell themselves ‘I am beautiful, I am worthy,'” said Purnell.

SASH has helped many girls like, eight-year-old Makayla Murphy, who has been involved for one year.

“I really love this program because it helps the girls build up their self-esteem and it really helps girls to be stronger and more confident in every day of their life,” said Murphy.

That’s why Purnell is September’s Jefferson Award honoree, a nationwide award that honors unsung heroes in the community.

“If it wasn’t for Miss Tiffany making up SASH, then none of this would have happened to help girls build up their self-esteem.
They are not scared to do anything,” said Murphy.

Tiffany isn’t scared either. She is  not planning on stopping her SASH movement anytime soon.

“I plan to have some in other countries as well. I want them to know they are worthy,” said Purnell.