North Central Texas College

Lesley Brooks

Lesley Brooks

After spending close to two decades working in advertising in Dallas, NCTC alumna Lesley Brooks says she was “fed up and burnt out” – and “then the stars opened up.”

While visiting her parents who have a home in Gainesville, she says she often drove past the NCTC campus, and once she found out about its horticulture program, she quickly formulated a plan. 

“I gave up my apartment, downsized and moved back in with my parents, and signed up for classes,” she says. “It just all came together.”

Citing a dream of being self-employed and running her own green business, Brooks earned her associate degree in Horticulture Management in May 2019, then opened up her own sustainable horticulture business, Flourish Plant & Land (flourishplants.com). She runs her business from her home in Valley View and says every day is different, with new opportunities and new people, and endless fun with plants – doing garden rejuvenation projects, planting scheme design, vegetable bed construction, and more.

A 1995 graduate of Coppell High School, Brooks earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech and also holds a master’s degree from UNT, but her NCTC studies allowed new dreams to take root. On the path to her associate degree, she earned a Landscape Design Occupational Skills Award and certifications in Horticulture Management and Sustainable Horticulture.

Success Stories

Rachel Kniss


“I’ve always been interested in men’s grooming and think it will be really beneficial to have this extra training for my career development,” says Kniss, who’s currently employed as a hair stylist at a Gainesville location of Great Clips. MORE

Lesley Brooks


After spending close to two decades working in advertising in Dallas, NCTC alumna Lesley Brooks says she was “fed up and burnt out” – and “then the stars opened up.” MORE

Jacob Chavez


He spent another four years working in oil fields in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Texas as a drilling fluids technician. However, the military veteran says he always had his career sights set on his first love: Cosmetology. MORE

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