Meet Ahia & Warren: From Bettering Our World to Bettering Blue Skies
It’s no secret that members of Blue Skies of Texas bring with them rich experiences from all walks of life. In turn, those experiences amplify the distinct culture and bright spirit of this trusted Life Plan Community in San Antonio.
Perhaps no better examples of this exist than current Blue Skies residents Ahia Shabaaz, Ph.D., and Warren Moore, Ph.D. This dynamic husband-and-wife duo has made it their life’s work to better communities through activism, volunteerism and a steadfast resolve. Since moving here in 2013, they have channeled that passion into wonderful things on and around our south Texas setting.
Get to know these two, learn what brought them to Blue Skies and find out how they continue to make their mark—and make a difference—everywhere they go.
Living to serve
Like other neighbors at Blue Skies of Texas, Ahia and Warren are military veterans. Warren served in the Air Force and Ahia served in the Army. Notably, in addition to the honorable service to our country, Warren and Ahia have made huge impacts all around the world thanks to their enthusiastic volunteer and activist work.
“I have volunteered in different organizations for 50 years,” Ahia explained. “I come from a loving family who helped everybody. My mother would cook extra food every day for anyone who stopped by, even though she was already cooking for 10 people. That was my impetus. We’re on the planet to help each other and learn from each other. You don’t have to believe in it, but you certainly need to respect the other person’s point of view. That has been the emphasis for me.”
“We used to have a slogan, ‘If not me, who?’” said Warren. “It’s a matter of seeing a problem and initiating something to deal with it. I was a freshman in college during a period when we had sit-in demonstrations. We sat on lunch counters and racially integrated them. That evolved into businesses, organizations, government entities. Later on, I helped develop integration policies and programs. That was my main focus.”
Formally, Ahia earned a doctorate in holistic counseling while Warren earned a doctorate in higher education policy. Together they have taught at three universities, spending lots of time in the Midwest, but chose San Antonio and Blue Skies as their preferred place for the retirement lifestyle they sought.
Venturing to where the skies are particularly blue
Already planning to make the proactive move to a retirement community, Ahia and Warren researched intently for a couple of years before deciding exactly where they would take their next step.
Aiming to avoid the cold weather of their prior Midwest locations, the couple visited multiple retirement communities in Florida, California and here in Texas, too.
“We’d go to all these places and stay two or three days, taste the food and talk to people,” Ahia said. “We’d especially talk to current residents after hours when the regular staff was gone just to get a feel for it. Really, Blue Skies won hands-down.”
Aside from the warm and welcoming nature of Blue Skies, Ahia and Warren noted that the deciding factors were climate, low state taxes, local culture and importantly, their future.
“We crossed off the list any place that didn’t have a full spectrum of care,” Ahia added. “We said, ‘No,’ we’re not moving to a place where if one of us transitions to memory care or skilled nursing we would have to be apart. Blue Skies was one of the only places that had those four levels, as well as a variety of residence types.”
With their decision made, Warren noted that he and Ahia were eager and ready to “plug right into” the energy of community life at Blue Skies. Fortunately, they landed somewhere that matched their zest for involvement and making a difference.
Making a difference, like always
Right off the bat, Ahia found a way to channel her knack for encouraging cultural literacy among her peers. She got involved in Blue Skies’ famous “follies,” a resident-produced variety show and the hottest ticket in town when it graces the community’s stage each fall.
“I asked the person in charge of the follies show if they had ever done an international theme for the event,” Ahia said. “The answer was no, but within a couple of years the theme was ‘Around the World in 90 Minutes.’ It really opened the door to having the follies show include dances and songs from other cultures. I taught the first African dance that was ever performed at Blue Skies. We also did Mexican dance, Chinese dance, Korean dance.”
Warren clarified that when Ahia discussed teaching dances and songs of various cultures, all of that was informed by Ahia’s having lived in various countries earlier in life. The pair were kindred spirits in their desire to travel, he said, and that evolved into working to give others an appreciation for faraway places and their peoples.
Much closer to home, Ahia and Warren participate in charity walk-a-thons on campus benefiting a variety of organizations. They also join their neighbors in hosting special themed dinner parties celebrating different cultures such as Cuban, French, Chinese, Middle Eastern and more.
“The purpose of the parties is learning, teaching and caring about others,” Ahia said.
Party or not, Blue Skies of Texas is a place where neighbors care for and about one another. Being a part of this community means enjoying the special sense of camaraderie, whether you’ve served our nation in uniform or you’ve served others in various ways. Many members of our community have done both, just like Ahia and Warren.
We think that you will find that Blue Skies is a place where you’re empowered to let your passions shape your retirement path. You will find yourself among a tight-knit group of neighbors and community leadership that responds to all members.
It’s something you must experience firsthand, so we recommend getting in touch for an in-person tour, event or virtual appointment. Click here or call 866-553-5389 to get started!