Four years ago, Tammy stood in the driveway at the home dedication for the very first house that Guilford High School students had completed as part of our then brand new partnership program. Her son was a senior in Guilford’s construction trades program at the time, and he had helped to build the home from the ground up as part of his senior year curriculum. Now, Tammy is getting ready to step back onto the construction site, only this time, the house being built by the Guilford students will be her own.
Tammy is a longtime employee of RPS 205 who currently serves as an Office Professional at Ellis Elementary School, and she says she is passionate about education. The evidence of this passion is clear all around her— her oldest daughter, who recently graduated from NIU, is a teacher at Lewis Lemon Elementary School; her oldest son thrived in the Guilford-Habitat partnership program, taking every opportunity to deepen his hands on experience in his field of interest; her 12-year old son is doing great in middle school; and her 5-year old daughter is soaking up everything she can in Kindergarten. As for Tammy, she graduated with her Associates Degree in 2019, and she is looking forward to continuing on for her Bachelors.
Tammy is a lifelong member of the Rockford community. She and her sisters even had a “girl group” back in the day that would perform and sing around town. Now, Tammy says she is looking forward to becoming a homeowner invested in her hometown in a brand new way.
“Owning a home is like a cornerstone of building financial freedom and mobility,” Tammy says. “It makes a lot of sense to invest in yourself rather than someone else’s house. To me, it is especially important because I want to have something that I can leave for my children, something that they can take pride in.”
Tammy’s house will be under construction during the 2021-2022 school year. When she moves in the early summer of 2022, she is looking forward to decorating her home the way she wants, to painting her walls, and to having a yard for her kids to play and hang out in. But beyond all of these aspects of owning a home, Tammy says the thing she is looking forward to the most is the simple “pride and freedom” of knowing that the house will always belong to her and her kids.