‘She persisted’: Women who succeeded against the odds – Lemel ‘Mel’ Jones

March is Women’s History Month and this year, the national theme is, “Nevertheless, She Persisted.”

The theme embodies so many women in the Houston community. The Defender is highlighting some local Black women who have succeeded through persistence, despite the challenges they have faced on different fronts.

Today, we feature: Lemel “Mel” Jones, Founder, I Am a Legacy Builder; former CEO, Target Hunger

For Lemel “Mel” Jones, her life is a continual journey of persistence and resilience. All her life, from time as a struggling mother/college student, to starting her business, she’s had to overcome an array of obstacles. But it is rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina where she saw her strength tested the most.

“The emotions that you go through when evacuating your home for destinations unknown in the midst of panic is hard to describe.  The persistence came in the form of waking up and praying for the strength to say ‘it will be alright’ to your frightened kids, persons at the workplace, and the communities that surrounded me,” she said.

Jones took her resilient spirit to help those around her believe that the worst of times will pass and that we will all have a legacy story to tell.

“I want people to see my overcoming and have the strength to believe that in our darkest hour we are so much stronger than even we know. God has blessed with learning experiences that mold me.”

Life’s philosophy/motto: “If you are going to live, leave a legacy.  Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” – Maya Angelou