Shanta Horton Share

Aug 5, 2021  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Shan­ta Hor­ton was born and raised in Osce­o­la, Arkansas. When she was 16 years old, her moth­er passed away. Hor­ton lived in her grandmother’s care for some time, then she moved to be with her sis­ter in Mem­phis, TN, where she fin­ished high school. Fol­low­ing grad­u­a­tion, Hor­ton joined the mil­i­tary at age 17. She served 4 ½ years in the U.S. Air Force. 

Horton’s life was made of many hard­ships. She sur­vived sex­u­al abuse as a child, and was lat­er a vic­tim of rape. Hor­ton went into a depres­sion, and was addict­ed to drugs, and attempt­ed sui­cide. She came to Mar­i­on, IN, while with her ex-hus­band, liv­ing a dan­ger­ous path. One Sun­day in 2005, Hor­ton attend­ed a church ser­vice at the near­est place she could find. She then sought help through a dif­fer­ent near­by church — God’s House. They wel­comed her and helped her begin her recov­ery, Hor­ton explained. That is where my true heal­ing began.”

Since that year, Hor­ton has been an active mem­ber of soci­ety devot­ing her life to God whom she relies upon in dai­ly deci­sions. She has been reunit­ed with her fam­i­ly, and has since been a lov­ing wife, moth­er, and grand­moth­er, car­ry­ing forth a lega­cy her own grand­moth­er plant­ed in her upon her death about a year ago.

Hor­ton has been employed with Mar­i­on Com­mu­ni­ty Schools since 2006, hav­ing start­ed in the cafe­te­ria, but has soon after been a teacher’s aide for many years, present­ly at Frances Slocum Elementary.

Notably, Hor­ton has been a vol­un­teer with MPow­er­ing Youth since its incep­tion over 5 years ago. Over time, she has blos­somed as a grow­er” in the com­mu­ni­ty gar­den­ing pro­gram – help­ing to enrich the lives chil­dren and teach them to feel the rewards of hard work.

Dr. David Moore who leads MPow­er­ing Youth expressed that Hor­ton has tru­ly unleashed her full poten­tial in her pas­sion for gar­den­ing and work­ing with chil­dren. It is an absolute delight see­ing how she is bless­ing oth­er peo­ple. If you are teamed up with Shan­ta, you know that the work will be well-done. Our gar­dens have nev­er been bet­ter, and, although par­tic­i­pa­tion is still low due to COVID, the enthu­si­asm is high.”

Shan­ta and her team main­tain five gar­dens through­out Mar­i­on, and she addi­tion­al­ly main­tains a gar­den at her home. Har­vests are shared among the com­mu­ni­ty includ­ing local pantries that serve the hun­gry. There is a long list of part­ners and vol­un­teers who make MPow­er­ing Youth — their com­mu­ni­ty gar­dens and oth­er pro­gram­ming — all pos­si­ble. To learn more of this non­prof­it, vis­it M‑Powering YOUTH” on Facebook.

Hor­ton says she is pas­sion­ate about the Mar­i­on com­mu­ni­ty. Her mes­sage is to spread love, and not hate. She empha­sized, It may look dif­fer­ent, but every­one has the same abil­i­ty to bring the love.”

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