Stephany Perry, started her journey of forming Ambassadors of Conservation, Drakaina and Fire & Ice in 2017, but the road that led her to this decision started long before then... Here is her story...
My name is Stephanie Perry. I was born on Galveston Island in the middle of a hurricane, which I think suits my personality well. I never like to shy away from a challenge and I’m always pushing to better myself even if it means stepping out of my comfort zone. Growing up in Houston, Texas, I had quite a rocky upbringing, enduring most things a child should never go through. But God has his own ways of balancing our pains, as I found myself to have been extremely blessed as an adult. I couldn’t ask more for what all I have today after all these years. Today, I am happily married to my amazing husband and life is beautiful with my five boys. I don’t regret one thing thats happened to me, or any decision I have made as it has molded the person I am today.
In 2007 I met my husband, Will and my amazing “bonus son” Grant. That is when things began to change for me. He saw me for the person I was, not for what I had been through. After marrying in 2009, we became pregnant with twins. A boy and a girl. I thought life couldn’t get any better, but towards the end of 2009, an incident took place in my life that pushed something in the woman in me to emerge stronger than ever before. My twin newborns were born prematurely the same year and passed shortly after their birth. As I look back, I feel that it was the hardest thing I ever endured in my life. Going through all of the hardships in life, I have only come out of them stronger and more blessed than ever, and this is part of what inspires me to want to give back. Over the next several years of enduring infertility procedures, I was blessed with a baby boy in 2011, twin boys in 2013, and with the help of an amazing surrogate, another baby boy in 2017. All during this time of having and raising babies, I earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology, with a minor in Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University. Again, I think all of these events molded who I am today and allowed me to be a stronger woman and mother.
I have always wanted to give back to the world in a great way, but wasn’t sure how or where my skills and experiences would fit in. When I think about rural development, poverty, education, health, and animal welfare, I am reminded that there is an endless list of issues that permeate in several world nations, and when humans or animals experience severe life stressors, it is common for them to want to find a way to heal.
In 2015 I began a journey that would set the wheels in motion for the The Drakaina Foundation. My husband, with the help of his dear friend, began the Moz Parks Foundation, now knows as Ambassadors of Conservation, which focuses primarily on saving the endangered rhinos, as well as helping to improve the community locally in Mozambique. It was decided that I would become the face for Ambassadors of Conservation and in 2018 I embarked on my first solo journey to Africa. This is when I really realized my potential and ability to give back to the world in a big way and The Drakaina Foundation was born. In the coming years, my goal is to travel all over the world and continue with my endeavors to give back to animals and people alike. I am passionate about the value of volunteering for causes that give back and have an incredible impact directly in the field.
Early on I understood that it takes a lot of creative problem solving skills and marketing efforts to raise awareness and funds to keep a nonprofit organization running. Drakaina (which is a type of female dragon) foundation is basically a “mother nonprofit” helping others who may not have the means to create their own nonprofit, but have a desire to give back by creating their own foundation. It is for those who want to lend a helping hand, but are not quite sure how to turn this idea into a reality. I want to empower people who are struggling to find the right pathway to cherish their own dream of supporting one main cause that is close to their hearts. I am passionate about giving everyone choices and resources to meet their goals.
With the idea of Drakaina foundation, I found my calling and my passion to give back to the world by helping others realize their dreams and aspirations. I always backed up my beliefs, and with this nonprofit organization, I find myself lucky enough to back up the beliefs of others. I have overcome a hard life and used it to empower myself. Now it is time that I channelize this energy to help others achieve the same goals in life. I want to give back by helping others who have the same desire, but may not have the means. I have always had this immense desire to give back to the society and the world in whichever way possible. I am a firm believer of the thought that we are humans only because of the humanity that lies within each one of us. There is nothing greater than the feeling of compassion and gratitude you show towards the world by the act of giving to beings that are less fortunate and less resourceful than us.
“I decided who I wanted to be, and that is who I am” - Gabrielle Chanel