ERICA PEREZ

Stella.jpg
 
 

ERICA PEREZ

Erica’s connection to Dallas Metro is a true family affair. It began more than twenty years ago with her parents and her siblings participating in Metro programs and now she is carrying on the connection with her husband and two daughters.

Twenty-five- year old Erica looks back fondly on her two decades with Dallas Metro.

“I first saw a Dallas Metro Kidz program when I was four years old,” she recalls. “We were living in North Dallas and Metro would come to the community with programs for the children. I saw one of the [programs]. After that, I was one of the kids that attended the [programs] every week.

“My brother, who is two years older than me, got me and my sisters interested in going to Dallas Metro programs. And Metro staff would visit our house every week to invite us to Metro programs. Then we became a member of Metro and we would attend Metro Church each Sunday. In fact, we would attend every Metro event.”

Seven years after she first started participating in Metro programs, Erica’s family was facing a crisis.

“When I was about eleven, my family and I were very uncomfortable where we were living in North Dallas. It was a negative community full of violence and abuse. It was not a good environment to live in. So, Pastor Clay offered my family a place to stay at the Metro Apartments. We took the opportunity to change our environment and Pastor Clay blessed us, At the Metro Apartments we felt more at home and at ease. I have moved from the apartments, gotten married and started my own family, however, my parents still live there.”

Through Dallas Metro Erica was able to see and do things she had only imagined.

“When I became a teenager I would attend the Metro Youth programs every week. We would have mission trips and road trips. We went to Austin, San Antonio, Chicago and Denver. We would have fundraisers, like car washes and Junior Achievement programs, to help pay for the trips. I got to experience a lot as a teenager that I would not have been able to do without Metro.

And I learned about serving others and I learned about the word of God. I always felt love coming from the Metro staff.”

Then Erica shifted to being a Metro volunteer.

“After my teenage years when I was a young adult I continued coming to Metro as a volunteer. My husband and I volunteer each summer to work at the Metro Kidz Summer Camp. My oldest daughter is six and she’s already done things with Dallas Metro. My youngest daughter is four months, so she hasn’t done anything with Metro—yet.”

Erica is already as tremendous role model for her daughters.

“I work full time at Dallas Can Academy and I also take courses at Mountain View Community College. I’m working to get my Associates Degree in Art by the end of this year,” explains Erica.

“Then I will continue my education at the University of Texas in Arlington. I will get my Bachelor’s Degree in Communication there. I want to eventually become a school counselor. That’s my plan.”