The Art of Starting Over

Art of Starting Over

Stacy grew up in a rough neighborhood and was raised by her single mother who did her best to guard Stacy and her brother from outside influences.

“Sometimes the neighborhood still ended up right on our doorstep though,” said Stacy. “Growing up where I did, I feel like there are basic life skills that I just never had the opportunity to learn.”

In addition to her mom, Stacy’s grandmother also played a big part in her life. Stacy’s grandmother was the driving force of prayer and making sure the children heard about Jesus.

“It was really my grandmother who first noticed and cultivated my love for art,” said Stacy. “She bought me books, took me to museums and encouraged my gift.”

Because of those early art exposures, Stacy went on after high school to earn her associate’s degree in liberal arts from Houston Community College and a Bachelor of Arts from Texas Southern University.

“I’ve always loved art and had a desire to teach it,” said Stacy.

Stacy’s dreams became harder to obtain when she, herself, became a single mom in her early 20s.

“I’ve always been a very determined person,” said Stacy. “When people said I couldn’t finish school while raising a child on my own, that just made me want to prove them wrong. Determination became my vehicle for hope.”

Six months ago Stacy reached a breaking point when she was no longer able to afford her apartment rent and was on the verge of losing her home. Then, God led her and her three beautiful children, Alissa (9), Alana (8) and Zion (5) to Gracewood.

“Living at Gracewood has been an amazing change for us,” said Stacy. “It is a great environment for my children and it’s allowing me to make up for lost time and fix some of the mistakes I’ve made.”

Stacy is currently teaching art at New Spring Art Studio for its after school program and had her first art show there in November. She is also working on earning her teaching certificate from Lone Star College.

“I have been so blessed by the beautiful women of Gracewood and for the spiritual support they’ve offered to me and my family,” said Stacy. “Living here has given me the chance to focus on myself and my children.”

“Stacy’s determine and faith is infectious to the staff and other moms here at Gracewood,” said Debbie Rippstein, Executive Director of Gracewood. “She’s allowing God to get her life back on track and he’s becoming the strength in her life. It is an honor to help equip her with the tools she needs for long term security.”