SAN ANTONIO – Two powerful San Antonio women have combined their community leadership to serve teenagers in need at Southside Independent School District.
Both women grew up in low-income households, but because of their strong family foundation, they have been successful with the outcomes of their lives.
Lucy Adame-Clark is the first-ever elected woman Bexar County Clerk.
“My mother was a community leader,” Adame-Clark said. “She always taught me to always be there and to never forget where you come from.”
Adame-Clark knows what it is like firsthand to be in need.
“I was born in the projects,” she said. “I am a native to San Antonio. I was born in 1972 and grew up in the Alazan Apache Courts.”
Adame-Clark, with her sisters, broke the cycle.
“I was third-generation,” Adame-Clark said. “Living in housing, they tell you you will not make it and that it is impossible to get out. My father raised five strong women. Yes, we had to get in line for food and for shoes and for hand-me-down clothing. But we were never homeless. We all broke the cycle. None of us are in housing. We are all professionals.”
Adame-Clark said she is beyond proud to say she went from the courts to the courthouse.
“Who would have ever thought a young woman born in the courts would be in charge of the courthouse,” she said.
Adame-Clark has made it her personal mission to give back to her community in every form and fashion she could think of.
Aurelina Prado is a supply chain senior manager for Boeing Aerospace company.
She grew up in a third-world country.
“I grew up in the Dominican Republic,” Prado said. “I was poorer than poor could be. I immigrated here when I was seven with my mother. We walked three days and three nights through the border, which was tough to do at age seven and my mother had cancer at the time. We were purposely trying to get here for some medical help.”
Prado also knew what it was like to be without.
“We just didn’t have the resources,” Prado said. “Sometimes, we didn’t have money to eat food. My mom didn’t have money to buy me clothes, but she tried as much as she could to even make my uniforms so that I could go to school.”
Despite her struggles, Prado said it was instilled in her to be bigger than her situation.
“My family told me, ‘Your life is not dependent on the situation you are in right now,’” Prado said. “‘You can make something of yourself. You have the same opportunities. You just have to go out and get it.’”
Prado competed in sports, finished high school, and graduated college with a degree in aviation.
How the duo met and how they got started
Adame-Clark and Prado met during a town hall meeting over a community issue at Southside Independent School District.
It was after that that they began to brainstorm.
“It was the first time that I knew there were high school students in our area in a first-world country that were homeless,” Prado said.
Both women had family members who attended Southside High School, so they were familiar with the underserved families and areas within the school district.
The first year they started collecting dresses, they were able to donate over 20 to the district.
Since then, they have been able to donate around 1,000 dresses to the district.
“A lot of the dresses came from the Dominican Republic, Houston, other cities and many of them came from nonprofits,” Adame-Clark said. “These dresses were valued at $300-$500 or more. A lot of them were brand new with tags.”
They said the first time they did it was very emotional.
“We had to walk away because we had tears in our eyes,” Adame-Clark said. “We help them find that perfect dress. To see their smile and to see their tears and to let the counselor know we have your back.”
“Just to see how impactful and the difference it does for these girls and at the same time just talk to them ask them what do you want to do when you grow up,” Prado said. “How can we help you. That five-minute mentoring means the world to them.”
The duo says they are blessed to give back to the community with the help of other non-profit organizations.
“That word impossible is there because it is possible, so if I was there and I faced it, you can walk away from it as well,” Adame-Clark said.
They hope their efforts show the young community that you can overcome anything in life.
“The sky is no longer the limit but only the beginning,” Prado said. “Break those chains, and just say, ‘yes.’ Take on those challenges. If you fail, then get back up.”