Angel Hardy knew living in a camper parked in the backyard of her friend’s house was no way to live – for her or her son. The shower never worked; the toilet never worked. Eventually, the water in the kitchen stopped working.
But life had become so bleak that she felt she had no other choice.
Angel was laid off in 2010, unsure of what to do next. She knew she needed to get out of the trailer.
A friend asked her if she ever thought about going back to school. As soon as she asked, Angel knew in her heart what she would study: social services.
She went immediately to Lonestar College in Conroe, Texas, and enrolled. After two and a half years of living in the tiny, broken trailer, Angel and her son moved into an apartment in Conroe.
Soon her student loans ran out, and she couldn’t pay her rent. After falling behind for several months, her landlord asked Angel if she knew about Buckner.
“I knew about Buckner but I thought it was for victims of domestic violence,” she said. “I didn’t realize it was for single parents to go to school.”
Angel applied to the Family Pathways program and was accepted. She finished her associate degree at Lonestar and then went on to Sam Houston State University for a bachelor’s degree in human services with a special emphasis on victims studies.
“I don’t know where I’d be today without Buckner, that’s for sure,” Angel said. “I hope to work with Child Protective Services and foster children aging out … My ultimate goal is to open ‘Reigns of Hope,’ an equine therapy ranch.”
Angel graduated May 5 from Sam Houston. Her five children, brother and grandson were in the audience cheering her on. Her next step is going to graduate school to learn the management side of nonprofits.
“Angel was my very first client I was able to watch from the beginning to the end,” said Kymeicko Williams, Family Pathways case manager in Conroe. “Angel has always strived very hard for greatness and it shows. She’s so thankful for everything Buckner has done for her. It was so wonderful to see her walk across the stage. I was just as proud of her as her family and friends.
“(Buckner’s help) has meant everything,” Angel said. “I believe it was all done by God. He put it all in place, in motion.”