Several years ago, the Gabe Dixon Band released a song called ‘All Will Be Well.” My conversation with business owner and Texas Christian University’s Alumni Board member, Maria C. Mason, brought these lyrics to mind:
‘You’ve got to keep it up, and don’t give up, and chase your dreams’
Chasing dreams and catching them could be Mason’s most powerful message to people from all walks of life. Born in Mexico, she has a unique perspective from her upbringing that has only enhanced her knowledge and equipped her to become the newest member of TCU’s National Alumni Board.
When asked how her Hispanic heritage will help inform her in that new role, Mason shared “It takes a strong minority voice to come in there and say ‘Hey, we’re here too!’ We [Latino peoples] are very diverse. We’re not just Mexican, as there are so many subcultures too, so being that voice is my main priority.”
Mason added, “I think of being born in Mexico and my parents bringing me here at a young age. We grew up as farm workers and through that, I have my own shared experiences of how I went to TCU [on] scholarships… TCU was kind of a distant dream when I was growing up.”
Mason first toured TCU while she was in middle school and was immediately captivated by the beauty of the campus and the opportunities they had to offer. Living in an apartment off Las Vegas Trail, Mason lived a life that, from her perspective, was setback to achieving her dream of attending TCU. “I was an A student, so I knew with my grades I could probably make it in, but financially I didn’t think I could make it a possibility.”
It was not until she met a counselor while attending Tarrant County College that Mason realized there were ways to pursue her dream. With the counselor’s help, Mason learned about scholarships that made the journey from community college to TCU a reality.
Reflecting on her educational journey, Mason said, “I wanted to go [to TCU] in middle school and didn’t feel like I could, then I went with all the scholarship money, then I graduated. Now I have my own real estate company, and now I am serving on the national [alumni] board. Kind of a full circle of God working in my life. I attribute it all to God allowing me to come back and give back to the school. I’m really excited to have this diverse background: living on Las Vegas Trail in apartments to business owner and to representing every student on the board.”
Mason added with confidence, “My faith is very strong. We can see the impossible, but God can see much more that is possible. He can see our dreams.”
As an extension of Mason’s heart for education and advocacy, she continues to pour her heart into her community and her culture through her company, Camino Real Estate. Alongside her husband Sam, Mason partners with local non-profits to provide home buying workshops. They are free and open to all. In regard to buying a home, Mason reflected, “It’s challenging, and our goal is to make it not challenging. That community [along Las Vegas Trail] already thinks they cannot buy a home and then they’re faced with the craziness of this real estate market. But we’re still finding them homes. So, it’s about education and really advocating for our clients.”
When asked what words of wisdom she could give to home buyers and for the people she will represent as an Alumni Board member, Mason said, “I would say have big dreams and go for them. Ask for help when you’re trying to make those dreams happen as there are so many mentors out there who want to help (including myself), and then be loud. Be loud. Speak up. Don’t think that what you’re saying doesn’t need to be heard. It needs to be heard, so to be heard, you have to be loud… look for mentors to push you along the way and then be that mentor for others that need to be pushed along the way.”
Gretta Hendricks is a multidisciplinary creative who has been a chocolatier, baker, birth-doula, performance artist, and freelance writer, although her favorite job to-date has been becoming a first-time mama to her beautiful rainbow baby, Ofelia, born in January of 2020. Gretta has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember and is passionately interested in the ways she can both learn and share from the art of storytelling. Alongside her husband and daughter, she loves living in and exploring Fort Worth as well as pouring into her church and local community.