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Family Pathways program inspires both mother and son to succeed

Son of Midland Family Pathways grad signed with Dallas Christian College Basketball Team

“I’m extremely proud to be a boy mom,” said Sherenda Lee, who recently celebrated her middle son, Jaythan Jones, signing his letter of intent to play college basketball at Dallas Christian College. “All three of my boys are a blessing to me in their own way.”

Sherenda graduated from Buckner Family Pathways in Midland in 2016. She credits the program for helping create stability in her life to allow her sons to succeed.

“I was able to carry what Family Pathways gave me and instill it in my boys,” she shared.

three brothersJaythan, 19, is Sherenda’s middle son, between Jorri Brannon, 26, and Jamere Jones, 16. Jaythan and Jamere were living with Sherenda when she enrolled in Family Pathways in 2015 following a complicated divorce and a brief spell of homelessness.

Safety and support paved the way for success

Family Pathways provided her and her boys with safe, affordable housing, counseling, career and parenting resources, and access to higher education. While living at the Buckner campus in Midland, Sherenda earned an associate degree from Midland College.

“The Family Pathways program supported our family when I really needed it the most, and I will always be thankful for my mentor, Anna Rodriquez, and the lessons she taught me,” shared Sherenda. “I learned to be thankful for whatever comes my way and never take things for granted.”

Sherenda was in the kitchen cooking when Jaythan came home with the news about Dallas Christian. “I started crying tears of joy and hugged him when he told me the good news,” she said.

Trusting in God’s timing

Jaythan played high school basketball for Midland Christian School, and according to the Midland Telegraph-Reporter, he was a key player on the school’s 2020 TAPPS 6A state tournament team. Even though Jaythan completed his high school eligibility in athletics following that season, neither he nor his mother gave up hope.

signing day“I told him God is always on time because [Jaythan] had been waiting for that opportunity,” Sherenda said.

She currently works in hotel hospitality, but right before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she earned a certificate in massage therapy – a career path she plans to pursue when it is once again safe. For now, she is thankful her job allows her to attend most of Jaythan’s basketball games and Jamere’s baseball games.

Buckner believed in her, changing her whole life

“Buckner has changed my life because they gave me that chance, and they said they believed in me,” she shared.

She has that same unwavering belief in all three of her sons.

Learn more about how Buckner Family Pathways supports and encourages success for generations.

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