Tracey is a born caregiver. In both her personal life and her career, she gives herself selflessly to the care of those around her.
Tracey was born and raised in Rockford, where she graduated from Jefferson High School. Immediately following high school graduation, she entered school for medical assisting, and she started her career with Crusader Community Health in 2011. She says she loved it right from the beginning.
But after several years of caring for her community in this capacity, Tracey picked her life up and moved to Alabama to help care for her Grandma who was battling Alzheimer’s. After her grandmother passed, Tracey moved back to her hometown and was thankful to be able to pick back up with Crusader Community Health, where she has now worked as a medical assistant for nearly ten years.
Tracey is also a mother of five beautiful children. She has four girls ranging in age from 11 to 3, and she has a baby boy who will turn 1 this summer. She said that this big undertaking of building and buying a house is for them. “I have been renting ever since being out on my own, but you know, that is not something that is going to be in the family for my kids. Plus I didn’t have control over the conditions as a renter. We were in places with mold. We were in one place where the ceiling ended up falling in, and water was coming right into the kitchen. With a new baby coming, I knew I needed to get my children somewhere safe.”
That is what spurred Tracey to listen to her brother who was encouraging her to apply to buy a home through Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity. She said she was not very familiar with the program, and she did not want to pursue something that was going to feel belittling, but by the end of the application session that she attended, she says it was already starting to feel like family. When she received a phone call at work a few weeks later saying she was approved to buy a home, she was overjoyed.
Now that construction is underway on her future home, Tracey says she is full of constant excitement. “It’s just a nice warm feeling,” she says with a beam. “To see the smiles on the faces of my kids – you can’t believe what a good feeling that is. Just seeing them happy is everything to me.”
Tracey’s oldest daughter is looking forward to having her own room and painting it pink and purple. Tracey says that this opportunity especially means a lot to her older girls, who have been there with her through everything and understand what a big change it is. For her younger kids, Tracey reflects that this beautiful house will be all they ever know.
As for Tracey, she is most looking forward to the kitchen, because she loves to cook for her family. She said she’s also looking forward to not having any concerns about leaking and safety.
“I am just so grateful for this opportunity” Tracey says. “Because of this house, I am going to raise my family in OUR home, and that is an amazing thing.”