Story by Jasmine Fain. Photos by Janell Bethea.
There are moments in life that when going through them, we don’t yet truly realize that it is our defining point. The moment that will change how we not only view the world but how we make an impact on others’ lives. That moment for Felica Frazier came just shortly after she gave birth to her first child, as she recalls her experiences of becoming a new mother to twins. “The story began for me as I walked into a world unfamiliar to my upbringing. I didn’t know what resources existed to support me and my children.” Felica states, “As I got older, and began to work with individuals or people who went through the same experiences as myself. I was able to help people either understand and utilize the system as a platform to help elevate yourself and get the resources needed to reach next economic level.”
Talking with Felicia, it is clear how passionate she is about making sure others learned and improved from her mistakes. A phrase continues to pop up throughout our conversation, “If we train them, then we can impart in them.” Felicia is focused on how the root of spreading knowledge lies in community engagement. “We can spend a lot of time with the community, and you can make sure you understand that community is important and to take value in it,” Felicia says. “Not only do you have to reach back and help those behind you, but also always have your eyes looking forward to being innovative.”
The key to the work that Felica has done through The M.I.N.T. Foundation truly embodies looking forward, but always pulling up the DeSoto and southern Dallas community with her, making sure they have the care they need. Felicia explains the southern suburb with a direct perspective. “People believe that in DeSoto we have it all together and we don’t. There is still so much poverty inside of the suburbs,” she says. “To thrive, we have to deal with reality, and the reality is people that live in this area, even though we may try to change our mindsets, and live a little better than we used to, we are just one paycheck away at times from being back in poverty, and we need the resources as well.” The M.I.N.T. Foundation is meeting direct needs through a food pantry, after school programming, and an emergency assistance program that provides rent and utility support.
The M.I.N.T. Foundation has held to its commitment to serving the DeSoto and southern Dallas community in practical ways. Their food pantry works alongside North Texas Food Bank, and the team also hosts a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) virtual summer camp to help 1st through 7th graders retain academic skills during the summer break. The DeSoto and southern Dallas community is thriving in part because of this organization’s commitment to making sure they get the right resources. One memory in the ten-year journey of the foundation has been the story of Miss Junaid. “I interviewed her one day because I needed a receptionist, and she was excellent. I said, ‘Okay, you’re hired,’ Felicia shares. “Then she asked me if she could tell me something. She said, ‘When I was going through cancer, everyone made me feel so welcomed. So when I found out you all were hiring, I was like I want to go work for them, because I know what you’re doing is real, and from your heart.’”
CommUNITY is what matters most, and as Felicia Frazier leads The M.I.N.T. Foundation, they are creating the definition of value. It is not about where you’ve come from or how you started, but most importantly it’s about how you use your experiences as fuel to grow someone else into a better person. Felicia’s journey to understanding the needs of others started with understanding her own needs within the unfamiliar territory. But she turned her experiences into a passion and business, to make sure the DeSoto and southern Dallas community is empowered to live better within the world.
You can support the work of The M.I.N.T. Foundation by making a donation for North Texas Giving Day, or giving directly at mintcares.org.