Ana Garcia is from Mexico, she has lived in the United States 13 years – 6 years in Indiana with her husband and 2 children. Ana and the two kids started experiencing domestic violence and she had to leave Indiana; a neighbor helped to buy her a ticket to came to Texas.
When Ana arrived in Texas, she stayed with a brother. Ana did not know how to drive a car, she didn’t speak or understand any English and she wasn’t legal, allowing her to find work. She had to move and went to stay at the Women’s Shelter.
At the Women’s Shelter, they helped her divorce her husband and get legalized to be able to work. Ana has been going to college to continue with her dream. She wants to be an elementary teacher (when she was in Mexico she only needed 6 months to finish her education and become an elementary teacher).
Ana has two children, Jose and Karla. For Ana Garcia, it has been a dream to have her own home and to go school to acquire the education to have a better job.
Crystal, who presently lives and grew up in the Porter area, is the mother of three daughters: Jozlyn Summers (20) who attends Lone Star College, Modisty Pruett (17), a PorterHigh School senior, and Mercedez Pruett (15) a freshman. She is hoping to have herthree-bedroom house completed in May.
Crystal is an Orthodontist Assistant for Dr. Brad Leiker, who has offices in The Woodlands and Conroe. She previously worked ten years as a dental assistant.
A friend from Houston, who owns a Habitat house, suggested Crystal apply. Crystal realized rental rates were increasing and it would be best for her to own her home. Of course, because she lives in Montgomery County she applied through Conroe’s Habitat unit.
She loves the heat and loves being outdoors—even mowing the yard (appropriate last name, huh?). And if she had her druthers, she would spend countless hours soaking up the sun near water, lake or ocean.
When she does have some spare time she enjoys helping people, particularly older folks, and reading non-fiction murder mystery stories.
Life could take Felicia McDowell out of her hometown of Delhi, LA, but it couldn’t take Delhi out of Felicia. The location of her Habitat house and what she does in her work come straight from her youth in Delhi, a town of about 3000 folks midway between Monroe and Vicksburg MS.
Felicia has had a winding road that includes surviving breast cancer and having two sons, two daughters, four grandchildren and five great granddaughters. Presently, she lives with a daughter in the Spring area in Harris County but has longed for her own place in a community-oriented, friendly and quiet country-like atmosphere like she had when growing up in Delhi. She’s excited because the Habitat community in Conroe is a perfect fit.
Her work history has been varied but an experience when she was six or seven years old never left her and accounts for her career now.
That experience was seeing, on her school bus, a handicapped youngster being made fun of by other kids. It hurt her heart and touched her deeply.
After many years of varied work experience (manufacturing, hotels, sales and others) she simply felt unfulfilled. So, 14 years ago she began working as a special life skills paraprofessional working with handicapped kids. She worked seven years in Channelview and six years at Aldine Nimitz High School before starting this year at Knox Junior High in The Woodlands.
Felicia is grateful for the opportunity afforded her by Habitat for Humanity and is thrilled she has already completed the Financial Peace course that has given her a solid foundation in money management that she follows carefully.
Kristen grew up in Spring. At the age of 19 she married, had a child, and still completed her degree in Political Science with minors in English and History at Sam Houston State University. She divorced and considers it fortunate because she was no longer being abused.She went to the Montgomery Women’s Center where she lived and has since moved to transitional housing where shelives with her daughter Kalee.
Kristen learned about Habitat at the Women’s Center and made it her goal to own a Habitat Home. She is scheduled for her wall raising on January 23rd.
She works at ESP Ultrasound in The Woodlands. ESP Ultrasound offers seminars to sonographers who are looking to pass their registry boards or continue their education.She is an office-assistant,which includes organizing the office, answering the phone, shipping, answering e-mails, and also registering clients for the seminars.
In the last three years Kristen has spent time further developing her skills. She has taken continuing education courses for Microsoft products, received counseling, and has taken Financial Peace.
One tool she has already used is the Financial Peace Course, which is required, but she has voluntarily taken it four other times. Kristen calls what she has learned from it her “accountability partner” in reducing a mountain of debt from her marriage.
Kristen and seven year old Kalee, her “big-girlie” daughter who loves to dress up, are looking forward to moving into their new home this summer.
Lakesha Evans and Zhyan
With four children (twin daughters Zhaya and Zhenay, who will be 16 in February, son Zhayien (12 and son Zhyan 4). Lakesha would be rather busy most folks would say. But add her 32 hours of security work (half overnight) and 16 academic hours and her Habitat hours requirements and her “river” resembles Niagara Falls.
Lakesha’s mother was a nurse and Lakesha has always had a special interest in the medical world. After many years of various jobs she, in the last six years, earned two Associate Degrees at Houston Community College (one Associate of Applied Science Radiography and one in Arts), and has become an X-ray and Computer Tomography (CT scan) technologist. In August 2016 she will earn a BS degree from the School of Health Professionals through the University of Texas at M D. Anderson Hospital.
She has dealt with rents and apartments in hectic north Houston enough, and looks forward to owning her own home and raising her children in the quieter, slower environment of Conroe’s Habitat Community.
By the way—that’s Zhyan (4) pictured with Lakesha; his ambition, he says, is a job as a “toy-picker-upper.” A hidden agenda maybe?
Sharmesha was born and raised in Tyler, Texas. She attended high school at Robert E. Lee High School where she played basketball. When she was a teenager she worked in a nursing home and enjoyed being around the elderly and caring for them.
After high school she worked as a nurse’s aide for several years and as a customer service representative at the local cable company. After years in the workforce Sharmesha decided to attend college.
At Tyler Junior College she received her associates degree in Criminal Justice in 2009. Then, after losing her Mom, Sharmesha moved to the Dallas area and worked as a caregiver in Richardson, TX. Again, she decided to go back to school, and in 2011 moved to Conroe and enrolled in Sam Houston State.
She is employed by Gulf Coast Trade Center in New Waverly working with at risk youth. She works at night and supervises a dorm for 12 boys, mostly older teens. That is work she has enjoyed, but feels her calling is to work with the elderly and ensure they are receiving the proper care as they go through their final years of life.It looks like she may have just accomplished “punching her ticket” for that endeavor. Sharmesha plans to work for the state of Texas in the near future.
Sharmesha is to be congratulated because she will receive her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State in August. It has not been easy and there have been some ups and downs while working and raising three children. Shataja, her oldest daughter, is 16 and will be a junior at Conroe High School. She is a girly girl, outgoing, and loves animals—all kinds. She thinks she would like to be a veterinarian. Shatori, is 13 and will be in 8th grade at Peet Junior High. Shatori is a voracious reader, especially mysteries. She would like to be a writer or movie producer. Brayden is 4 and will be in the head start program at Reeves Elementary. He loves all super heroes. His favorite now is Spider Man.
The family has been attending Fallbrook Church in the 1960 area of Houston. This church has activities for children of all ages, young people, and parents, perfect for Sharmesha’s family.