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Mosaic Artwork for Icetria

Icetria | Texas

My family and I lost everything to Hurricane Harvey my junior year of high school. I struggled with the stress of displacement and the pressure of being strong for my family. Finding a community of support at my new school made all the difference in recovering from the hurricane. Not only was I able to access donated supplies for my family, but I found academic support and a place to go to talk about my experience.

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I was recently promoted from an operations officer to the commanding officer with my JROTC unit. I love working with younger cadets and I think of them like siblings.

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Houston Strong Patch

My junior year of high school was the hardest point in my life. It was the year Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, taking a serious toll on my family and my education. Because of the hurricane, I was a month late starting school and fell behind in my classes.

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In the months following Hurricane Harvey, my family and I turned to our friends and organizations for assistance with shelter, food and other basic needs.

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Acrylic Nails

I hope to someday own a funeral home as well as a beauty supply store. I think of myself as a caregiver and I want to make a positive impact on my family and my community.

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My favorite article of clothing is my denim jacket because it represents me. It’s comfortable and goes with everything.

Icetria – Cropped Portrait

Icetria is a senior at Sterling Aviation High School in Houston, Texas. In 2017, her world was devastated by Hurricane Harvey—but Alma Gutierrez, a site coordinator for Communities In Schools of Houston, became the first person Icetria felt like she could go to with her problems. Since joining Communities In Schools, Icetria has evolved from a very quiet person to an outspoken leader with dreams of someday owning her own business.

What is one thing your Communities in Schools coordinator told you or taught you that you’ll never forget?

She taught me how to cope. Sometimes I get overwhelmed because I have a lot on my plate, and I just remember to breathe in, breathe out, as Mrs. Gutierrez would say.



How did Hurricane Harvey impact your life?

After Hurricane Harvey, I was displaced and separated from my mom and sister, and although it did impact me a lot, it made me grateful for the things I have.

What is one thing you want the world to know about you?

I want the world to know that I’m not perfect.

What is something about you that others don’t always see?

I don’t think people see that I like to have fun like everyone else. With me being very involved in school and extracurricular activities, sometimes I feel caught between being a hardworking student and a regular teenager.

What is the biggest challenge facing students today?

I think the biggest challenge students face today is being themselves—being comfortable in their own skin and making choices that aren’t influenced by others.

17 %

of young adults are disconnected from school and career options are at risk of not achieving a productive adulthood. Belfield, Levin & Rosen, 2012

Why did you choose to join JROTC?

I’ve always been in love with the structure and stability of the program. It has taught me to be confident in myself and more comfortable as a leader.


What’s your favorite kind of music? Who’s an artist that you’ve been listening to lately?

I don’t have a favorite genre or type of music, but I LOVE J. Cole.

I love helping others feel better and feel good about themselves.

You’ve said you identify as a caregiver. What are some ways you help those around you?

I’ll help in any way possible, whether it’s babysitting, tutoring, or volunteering. I love helping others feel better and feel good about themselves.