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The Clarke Family at a Phoenix Sun's basketball game

13 March . 2019

Born & Raised in Estrella

Meet your neighbor! Jaime Clarke grew up in Estrella and, after moving away for a while, has returned to raise her family in the community she loved. See why the Clarkes enjoy calling Estrella home and learn about the great work she is doing with the Honey Foundation.

There and back again, an Estrella tale. We are fortunate to have many generations of a families living in Estrella. Sometimes new residents will move in and their own family members will enjoy visiting the community so much, they follow suit. We also have many residents who grew up here return to Estrella to raise their own children. Such is the case with Jaime Clarke, the president and co-founder of the Honey Foundation – a local nonprofit working to make the world a better place, one act of kindness at a time. Learn more about your Mountain Ranch neighbor and why she loves calling Estrella home.

When did your family first move to Estrella?
My family first moved to Estrella in the summer of 1995 when I was 12 years old. Before moving here, we lived in Litchfield Park and had horse property, but as the horses got older my parents wanted something with less land that was easier to maintain. When they visited Estrella, they fell in love with it. Especially the lakes.

What is your favorite Estrella memory growing up?
Wow, there are so many. My favorite memory was riding my bike down to South Lake to play basketball with my friends… almost every night.

Where did you go to school?
I graduated 8th grade at Estrella Mountain Elementary, then attended and graduated Buckeye Union Highschool in 2000. I also worked at the Harvest Moon Café (what is Taste of Italy today) from 16 to 18 years old.

Did you move away from Estrella for a time?
I moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona but would come back in the summer to work at the Buckeye Aquatic center as a lifeguard, swim instructor, and water aerobics teacher. I also taught private swim lessons to families in Estrella on the side, which has now turned into my business, Survival Swim. Soon after I graduated, I lived in Scottsdale for a short time and then my husband and I built a home in Litchfield Park where we lived for two years.

What made you decide to move back to Estrella as an adult?
We decided to move to Estrella because we wanted to raise our family here. We knew we wanted to stay in the West Valley and decided together that Estrella was the best place to raise our children.

What new amenity were you most excited about when you moved back? Anything that wasn’t here when you were growing up?
The new amenity that we were most excited about was the Starpointe Residents Club and the water slides! I remember when there was just a pavilion in its place.

What is your family’s favorite thing to do in Estrella?
We love taking advantage of all the parks and trails in the community. We also love all of our friends and neighbors. They are like family to us.

Tell us a little about your work with the Honey Foundation:
My husband Justin and I started the Honey Foundation in honor of his twin brother, Scott Clarke. Every Mother’s Day Scott would give the cashier at his local Starbucks money and roses, asking the clerk to use the cash to pay for every mother’s coffee and give them a rose until both ran out. He didn’t ask for recognition or repayment of any type. His only wish was that the recipients would pay the kindness forward in some way. On Mother’s Day, 2011, Scott and Justin’s mother went to that same Starbucks. After ordering, she was presented with a rose and learned that someone had already paid for her coffee. Waiting for her drink, she mused about who might have done such a kind deed. The answer, of course, was her own son, Scott. He died unexpectedly a few weeks later, at the age of 29.

Justin and I launched the Honey Foundation in 2012 as a place for individuals to pay forward their kindness while inspiring others to do the same. Since then we’ve developed the Kindness Education Program. Schools across the country have been using it to teach children to be kind and instill basic life skills such as self-esteem, confidence, positive communication, positive thinking, leadership, philanthropy, and community.

I challenge everyone to track their good deeds with the Honey Foundation and watch kindness spread throughout the community.

Follow us on social media @EstrellaAZLife and share your story about what made you choose to call Estrella home. Not a resident? Learn more about our vibrant community by participating in our Resident for a Day program.