Houston Equity Fund

Michelle D. Farris

Project Specialist

Michelle D. Farris is a dynamic educator with 27 years of expertise in strategic educational outcomes. As a native of Houston, Ms. Farris graduated from Jack Yates High School and completed her formal education at Prairie View A&M University from which she obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and a Master of Arts in Counseling Education with an English Minor.

Ms. Farris officially began her career as an English teacher at Bryan High School in Bryan, Texas; where she taught for several years prior to the successful completion of a master’s degree in counseling which allowed her to serve as a school counselor for 17 years. Michelle spent several years as a high school counselor at Alief Hastings High School in the Alief Independent School District and Garcia Middle School of the Fort Bend School District. Her vast experience in the realm of school counseling compelled Ms. Farris to pursue leadership in the field of education. Ms. Farris completed her principal certification at Lamar University in 2012.

In the summer of 2013, Ms. Farris began to serve as assistant principal at James Madison High School in HISD. She spent five years at Madison where she co-founded a mentoring program for at-risk teen girls. Stepping Into Strength is a mentoring program that serves at-risk girls in the Houston Community. Founded at Madison High School in 2016 through This Woman’s Work 5013c, SIS a collective group of Houston businesswomen who spend their second Saturdays pouring into young women. The SIS program serves as an avenue for development and exposure to cultural experiences. This Woman’s Work follows our SIS mentees through college while providing resources and scholarships to continue support and ensure success.

In 2018 Ms. Farris went on to be the founding Dean of Academics at Yellowstone College Prep in Houston’s Historic Third Ward where she served until the emergence of COVID. At YCP her job was to provide instructional leadership to all content area teachers. While at YCP, Ms. Farris started a mentorship program for younger girls in 5th – 8th grade called SEEDS. The program focused on sisterhood, and quality learning experiences to help them achieve success socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

In the Fall of 2020, Michelle became the Lead Counselor at Austin High School in Fort Bend ISD, she served at Austin High School until she retired in June of 2022; Michelle remains committed to education and mentorship. Personally, Ms. Farris is the mother of two daughters and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Michelle is an entrepreneur, she owns SheaByMichelle, LLC; she has shipped her Shea Butter to almost all 50 states and also internationally. She is committed to the empowerment of women, care for the elderly, and economic development in the Houston community. Her true passion is service and helping others to reach new heights.