As 4-year-old Jaxson plays with toys on the floor, his mom watches on with a smile. Jaxson warms her heart. She loves him dearly and seeing him happy makes her feel things that are hard for her to put into words.
“For my child, I knew I needed to have the absolute best,” Jasmine Noble says. “And if I had to work and go to school to make sure he had the absolute best, then I was going to do it. So, when my Aunt Lace told me about Buckner Family Pathways, I was like, that’s the best way for me to give that to him.”
Jasmine’s upbringing sounds like it came straight out of a John Mellencamp song: “I didn’t have a horrible childhood growing up. It was, you know, basic, Middle American type of thing where we struggled a little bit, but it wasn’t horrible.”
As grateful as she is for her family, she wants more from life – for her and her son. She knows precisely what she wants.
“My main 20-year goal would be to be a published writer,” Jasmine rattles off. “I want to create books and things like that. My five-year goal, I want to have a career in technical writing, to have a home and have Jaxson in a stable place and the same position.”
Buckner Family Pathways provides a clear path to accomplish her goals. The program allows Jasmine and Jaxson to grow together in a safe environment, while empowering Jasmine to gain the education she needs for a secure future.
“I am a force to be reckoned with," she says. "I knew once I got into this program I was going to finish, and I was wanting to do really well. I wasn’t just going to be bottom line skating through. And so that’s why I do so well with my grades, and I study so hard and Jaxson’s like, ‘Mom’s on the computer, she’s doing homework.’ He knows I’m studying and I’m doing really well.”
The journey through the program has transformed Jasmine. She’s more relaxed now because she knows she has the support she needs. She trusts Buckner, and Buckner has empowered the family to thrive.
“She’s grown into a different person,” says Buckner Family Coach Amanda Mott. “She already has the job interview, already has all the things that she’ll need from being in our program to now living on her own. And that took time. Time to grow, as we all do.”
Jasmine has always been a caring mother, but she’s learned sometimes taking care of Jaxson means taking care of herself.
“I can’t take care of him until I’m able to take care of myself first. I have to be good to be able to make sure he is. Buckner provides that for both of us. They make sure I’m able to be the mother I need to be for him, and he is able to go to the day care and I can watch him outside of my window and know he’s safe. I can pop up anytime and just be like, ‘Are you OK?’ He has that sense of safety, of routine structure and he gets the good mom who’s not stressed, who gets to come and do everything I’m supposed to do.”
The family’s future looks bright. Jasmine has graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin University and already has job offers to choose from. Lufkin has become home, where both Jasmine and Jaxson can continue to succeed.
“Now that I have Jaxson playing tee ball and he’s in school and he starts ‘school-school’ in August, Lufkin is the best place, the safest place for him to be,” Jasmine says. “And it’s the best place for me to stay around people I know are safe and I trust.”