We’ve heard it said that teachers are incredibly patient and resilient people, and DeVonna certainly serves as a demonstration of this truth. DeVonna, who is a special education teacher at Auburn High School, applied to purchase a home through our program in 2019. She was originally scheduled to start building her home this August as part of the 2020-2021 Guilford High School partnership build. Much to the enjoyment of everyone whose path she has crossed, she spent some time this summer volunteering on our other construction sites and at our ReStore to get ready. As the school year began, however, we had to make the remarkably difficult call that, with COVID keeping over half of the students from coming physically to the construction site, it simply would not be the right school year to have students build a house.
DeVonna understands as well as anyone what an unusual school year it will be, and she took the news of the delay with her characteristic grace and kindness. She will now build her house in the summer of 2021, and this time next year, she should be settling in and starting to decorate—something she is eager to do.
DeVonna is raising four wonderful kids. When they think about their new home, they are all looking forward to “claiming a space of their own,” in DeVonna’s words. A long-time renter, DeVonna has always wanted to own her home, and she says she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to purchase a house and become a homeowner through Habitat. There’s a certain freedom in that, she says. DeVonna reflects that the decision to work for this change all boils down to her family. She says this house will be a stable place of their own in which they can make many memories to cherish forever, and that is worth the wait.