Editor’s Note: The headline in this week’s print edition mistakenly reads Timbergrove Manor and should read Mangum Manor. We apologize for the error.
In order to flourish, every neighborhood needs a core group of people willing to devote their time and energy to promote, advocate and build community. Mangum Manor is very fortunate to have one such cheerleader in Jessi Heiner.
A Provo, Utah native, Jessi and her husband initially chose to live in Mangum Manor in 2013 because of the relatively short commute to the Heights and the Galleria area where their jobs were located. The couple also liked the architecture and character in each individual home. But as they settled in to the neighborhood, they found much more to like.
“Mangum Manor truly is a special place,” said Jessi. “I think the thing that makes it the most special is the diversity and unity we have here. We have families from all walks of life. In a world where diversity often divides neighborhoods or cities, that doesn’t fly here. No matter your race, age, gender, sexual orientation, or political views, you are welcome and loved in Mangum Manor. We take care of each other here.”
Jessi said that her other favorite thing about Mangum Manor is that they are, in no way, an “exclusive” neighborhood.
“All of our civic club events and meetings are open to the general public,” she said. “We often extend the invitation on our social media pages and NextDoor, so our fun events and informative meetings can be enjoyed by our surrounding neighborhoods, apartment complexes, and townhome communities.”
It was her affection for the community which has led her to a series of volunteer roles. In a world where many people say that they don’t have the time to volunteer, Jessi makes the time.
From 2014 to 2017, she served as the secretary of the Mangum Manor Civic Club and last year she was its president.
Currently, she is a section I representative for the civic club.
“I have served in these positions because I have been nominated each year by fellow neighbors,” said Jessi. “I accepted the nomination the first year because I believed my training and background could help bring people together. I accepted nominations each following year because I have really enjoyed getting to know my neighbors through serving on the board.”
Jessi said that she is excited that Alyssa DeLeon, a Mangum Manor realtor and mom, recently accepted the nomination to be the civic club president for the 2018-2019 year.
“I look forward to supporting and working with her on the board,” said Jessi. “She is the definition of hard working and kindness.”
Jessi currently serves as the vice-president of membership for the Wainwright Elementary PTA and also fosters shelter dogs through BARC and the Rescued Pets Movement.
“I don’t have children, but I do love kids, and what it comes down to is that I want our neighborhood to continue to grow in diversity and love,” she said of her PTA role. “And this starts at Wainwright. Having learned more about schools in HISD, I have learned the harsh reality that they are generally segregated. While I cannot move mountains, I can certainly educate neighbors about things going on at Wainwright.”
She says her primary hope is that zoned parents will tour and familiarize themselves with Wainwright as their neighborhood school, even if they choose to send their children to a different school.
“The students at Wainwright are our community,” said Jessi. “They are our neighbors. They are our future. They are amazing kids. Through the PTA, I have started getting to know some of the parents there, and it has been so fun to meet more amazing people.”
When asked about challenges in her community, Jessi said that while Mangum Manor’s diversity is her favorite thing, it is also a challenge.
“With differences, come challenge,” she said. “The most incredible results come from diverse groups working together.
Different points of view offer perspective and are the key to inspiring inclusion. We can take our challenges and use them to fuel conversations of understanding and kindness to those in different circumstances.”
Jessi said that she hopes the charm, diversity, and inclusive spirit always stay the same in her neighborhood.
“We have many residents that are original home owners, as well as their posterity that have moved back to the area to raise their families,” said Jessi. “This is a neighborhood families have treasured for generations, and I hope that always stays the same.”