Developed as a Self-Help for African People through Education, or (S.H.A.P.E.), this particular community center at Live Oak Street in Houston has continued over 47-years-of-existence with hard-working staff members and volunteers. One of the new standouts of this center is Amber Cloud, who realized at a very young age that music was for her.
“I started liking music when I was ten-years-old. I knew that it was something I was passionate about,” Cloud said.
Having trouble with reading and writing at first, the Katy, Texas native broke that habit by learning to read and write music. As she read and wrote music on a day-by-day basis, she fully understood literacy. She would be able to do all she can with her literacy, only to do it more with music.
“I understood music when I read and write it. It took so much out of my time, but I enjoy doing it, and I love making music,” Cloud soundly said.
Cloud, 25, began to invest in recording equipment at 15 years old. Following her high school graduation, she initially attended Houston Community College (HCC) onto the University of Houston (UH), until constant support from Texas Southern University (TSU) convinced her to transfer and remain there until she walks the stage with a bachelor’s in Business Marketing.
“It was the mentors and the relationships at Texas Southern that led me to come and maintain my passion for music and creating it,” Cloud said.
She felt that music will keep people out of trouble. She would fulfill that feeling by making her own studio at S.H.A.P.E on Almeda Road. The Live Oak center is also called SHAPE, but without periods.
Within the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center, it provides activities and programs that not only strengthen families, but also the community. Because of this, S.H.A.P.E. would eventually become an award-winning place, which includes an MLK Humanitarian Award. One individual who visits Cloud at S.H.A.P.E. is Najwa Malveaux. Najwa Malveaux, Cloud’s friend, recalls on how they became close eight months ago.
“I could tell she is an articulate person. I met her at a coffee shop, and when I spoke to her, she was a real introvert, and we hung out ever since,” Malveaux said.
Her mentor, Laurence Payne, describes Cloud as a person with four P’s: passion, purpose, persistence, and perseverance.
“You have to be able to articulate your vision verbally and in writing. She articulates her vision verbally and in writing,” Payne said.
What Payne has done in the community is not only being a TV host of HCC’s Dialogue Houston, he has provided service to help individuals become successful human beings. He did the same with Amber by instilling intentionality and mindfulness to her.
“I also told her about medi-flect- that is meditation and reflect combined. If you have those two traits and medi-flect, you can do anything,” Payne said.
Angela Cloud, Amber’s mother, knows that her daughter is really trying to make it happen.
“She is a visionary. She has a love for music,” Angela said.
Amber’s mother is very, very proud of her. Her daughter is a go-getter and very focused on her music.
Amber’s ongoing project is her studio, which she plans to not only modify, but also have to create her music and record. Now that she is a musician, Cloud will be made into a successful one, and feels that musicians aren’t born, they are made.