Roar of a Tiger, Beauty of a Lily

Let’s take a note from these lovely ladies.

Looking back, the middle-school years were the most socially difficult years of my life. I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be — I was not quite a kid, but I was still far from “adulting.”

Don’t get me wrong. I had an amazing childhood, but those years were hard, and if I had a do-over button, I would start there, because what I know now is those years matter. They matter a lot.

Turns out, I’m not alone in believing this. Cape Central Middle School, under the direction of school counselor Becky Wright, has recently developed Tiger Lilies — a program that focuses on positive self-image, inner strength and social relationships for fifth- and sixth-grade girls. For one hour each week, these young ladies are empowered to build confidence, cultivate character and ultimately shape the trajectory of their lives by adopting healthy life choices.

The great news? It’s working.

Since beginning the program in September, the Tiger Lilies have braved the runway during an inner-beauty fashion show, used their newly developed etiquette skills on a visit to Cape Senior Center and practiced team building with the Lady Redhawks. What’s next? The Tiger Lilies will be inspired by women who serve in the military, breathe deep during yoga and change a tire with the school custodian. Now that’s a lineup.

“None of this would be possible without the support of our community,” says Wright. “We want them to get out there and see the possibilities that are open to them.”

While the Tiger Lilies program was originally was created for girls identified as “at-risk,” it has quickly blossomed into a beautiful, diverse arrangement of almost 70 young ladies, all growing together in sisterhood.

While this one program won’t eliminate every awkward middle-school moment, it’s definitely here to help.


Photos by Ben Matthews

From a Tiger Lily


I enjoy meeting new people at Tiger Lilies and learning how to be a young lady. I have learned about manners, like not putting my elbows on the table or wiping my hands on my pants. We even got to do a fashion show where we talked about how important our inner beauty is. The word I used to describe my inner beauty was BOLD. I feel like Tiger Lilies will help me learn to express myself and be friendlier. My favorite thing so far has been meeting the Southeast Lady Redhawks basketball team. I would really like to be a chemist someday, and being a Tiger Lily today will help me reach that goal.


From a Friend of the Tiger Lilies


The Cape Middle School Tiger Lilies are each as lovely and unique as the flower found in nature. These charming two-legged lilies are learning social graces and plain old-fashioned manners. They first arrived at the Senior Center bearing gifts of handmade flowers. This was a thoughtful gesture, proving to be a fun way to meet new people and initiate a conversation — not that most of us seniors need an excuse to start a conversation. The same breeze that blew in the flowers — both the Tiger Lilies and handmade varieties — brought with it rays of sunshine who left the dreaded electronic devices elsewhere.



I am a Tiger Lily.

I respect myself and others.

I am a Lady and I will be great!

I am Independent and strong.

I will leave a Legacy of greatness here at CMS.

I will Inspire myself and others.

I will be Excellent on purpose.

Sisterhood is not a destination, but a journey.

Together we will be amazing!


To get involved with the Tiger Lilies or to find out more about this organization, contact Becky Wright at (573) 334-6201.