Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio homeowner and single mother Priscilla Escalera believes that homeownership is good for her family. And, as she watches her children grow and thrive she says she knows purchasing her Habitat home was the right choice. “It’s made such a good impact on the kids,” she said. Escalera, who moved into her home about 2.5 years ago, is mom to three: 15-year-old Elijah, 13-year-old Kaylah, and 9-year-old Allison.
While each of the Escalera children has their own achievements and pursuits, it was her 15-year-old son she talked about last year (2009) from her home in HFHSA’s Palo Alto community.
“Before we moved here, he was giving us a little bit of trouble in school and his grades were dropping,” she explained.
But that has changed now. Elijah, then a freshman at Highlands High School, has become an accomplished musician, playing violin in his school’s orchestra, and making straight A’s, said his mother.
“I’m so proud of him,” Priscilla said. “When he first started, I didn’t think he would stick with it…but when he played, his whole demeanor would change.”
“I don’t have to think when I play,” said Elijah who has been playing violin since sixth grade and now composes some of his own music.
“It’s just him and the music,” his mother added. “It keeps him busy.”
She attributes his success to his own talent, but also to the security and space their Habitat home provides them.
“We shared an apartment with my parents [before],” she said. “We all slept on one bed.”
In their new home, each child has his or her own space to study and grow. Priscilla is glad to have provided such a good environment for her children, especially in a day and time when there are so many ways they can get in trouble. Elijah has performed with a quartet at San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre, performs at weddings and other functions, and most recently performed with the San Antonio Orchestra for a Cinco de Mayor concert. He was also selected for the San Antonio Independent School District’s Honor Orchestra.
“I just want to play and write my own music,” said Elijah, who hopes to make music his career.