Breanae Campbell’s life was at a crossroads. She could continue eking by financially in Midland as she raised her infant son. Or she could leave him to be raised by her parents while she went to college.
Neither appealed to Breanae.
“I love my son,” she said. “I wanted it to be me and him. No matter what we did, I wanted it to be me and him.”
Torn, Breanae visited Texas Tech University, where she dreamed of going for years. While there, she asked a counselor if the school offered housing specifically for single mothers. It didn’t, but the counselor had one pamphlet that described Buckner Family Pathways.
The program, which offers housing, child care assistance, counseling and a variety of other services for single-parent families to empower adults to attain their educational goals. It was too good to be true, Breanae thought. It was also full.
Breanae was persistent. She talked with Program Director Sharion Stephens regularly for the next 12 months, even going to visit her on one occasion. Finally, an apartment became available. Stephens called Campbell first.
“Breanae was so persistent,” Sharion said. “I could tell she wanted a better life for her and her son, and she was going to do whatever it took to make that happen.”
Breanae soon discovered Family Pathways is more than a place to live; it’s where lives change. She was connected with a financial adviser who helped her learn how to save money. She meets regularly with a counselor.
With Sharion’s help, Breanae sets periodic goals. As a result, she’s become a better cook and gotten her young son in a routine. The family is safe and stable.
“It’s just home,” said Breanae, a computer engineering major at Texas Tech. “The apartment I have is a two bedroom. Maddex has his own room. This is our home.”
Along the way, Sharion has become a mentor for Breanae. When difficulties arise, Sharion is a caring ear willing to listen. She’s a source of wisdom, whether it has to do with school work or raising Maddex.
“Mrs. Sharion is my friend,” Breanae said. “I don’t think I would have made it without her.”
“Breanae is just so smart,” Sharion said. “She can do anything she sets her mind to. The way she tackles her schoolwork is so, so impressive. And she’s such a dedicated mother. She just needed a little help. We all need that from time to time.”
Breanae pushes forward for Maddex. She wants a better life for him – now and into the future. She dreams of him going to college one day, his mom supporting him all the way.
For now, she takes it a day at time. Life is good. She’s enjoying it.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Breanae said. “Now my son and I are close. Now that I can be with him, I know more about his personality. In Midland, he was with my mom and dad a lot so I could work. Now, I know him. I know his personality. I know everything about him.”
This summer, you can shine by participating in the Buckner Shine This Summer campaign along with a special $200,000 Matching Grant that doubles the value of each gift Buckner receives by Aug. 31. Every gift will be put to work to help single-parent families across Texas who are living in extreme poverty, fear and vulnerability — like Breanae was.
Should you feel led to make a special investment to be doubled by the Matching Grant, we’d be truly grateful. Any portion of the grant not matched will be lost, so we’re hoping for a strong outpouring of support to help mend more broken lives.