‘Heart of a Champion’: Success begins with a home (part 3) -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
‘Heart of a Champion’: Success begins with a home (part 3)
A positive pied piper
Today Travis Pinckney (center) works for the Duval County school system in Florida and is considering pursuing a doctorate in education. He continues to mentor students, including Quinterius Cameron and Reggie Myers (on guitar).
“Travis has a way with kids that is unbelievable,” his uncle Roderick Pinckney said. “He’s a pied piper. If I, as the pastor, get up in front of the youth and say, ‘We need to have a cleanup day,’ everyone is like, ‘Ah man, no. We don’t want to.’
“If Travis says the same thing, they are all over it — no complaining, no questions asked.”
For Habitat’s Betkey, seeing what Travis has accomplished energizes her to continue working with kids in Jacksonville.
“Travis started out as a music major, but about halfway through his freshman year, he changed his major to elementary education with a minor in music,” Betkey recalled. “I asked him why he was doing it, and he said it was because someone helped him, and he wanted to help others.
“In that moment, I knew that Travis would have a bigger impact on the world than I would.
“And then I listened to the CD he gave me of his kids, and I knew that eventually, Travis would have the same epiphany that I had that day: His efforts would bear fruit, and one of the kids he is working with would do even more than Travis himself.”
Today, Travis works for the Duval County, Florida, school system, coordinating career and financial aid workshops, tutoring at-risk students and facilitating student-led discussions.
He is weighing several offers to pursue a doctorate in education. He owns a home with his wife, Estana Loyd, and three young children.
But he never forgets what his life was like before Habitat.
“I remember riding around with my mom looking for places to find food,” he said. “I remember getting buckets of water from church and walking them back to my house when I was 15 because our water had been cut off.
“I remember the policeman, and I remember how I felt when I made the 21 on the ACT,” he said. “Right now, I’m living everything that was planted inside of me by Jen Betkey and the Hicks Prep Club.”