Dee’s Story

Dee is one of the hardest-working grandmas in the world. She has spent years working two jobs while also attending college and taking care of her family. But she knows it’s all worth it as she sits peacefully on her front porch and reflects on all of the blessings in her life.

“Things started happening once I partnered with Habitat,” Dee shares. “It was a domino effect that hasn’t stopped.”

Prior to partnering with Habitat in 2013, Dee was dealing with a lot of stress. She was taking care of her mom, living in a cramped apartment, and trying to concentrate on school while surrounded by noise and stress. She knew something had to change.

Just before her mom passed away, Dee made two promises: to become a homeowner and to graduate from college. And with her graduation from Metro State University with honors in December 2017, she has fulfilled both of these promises. Dee believes that owning a Habitat home has made all the difference in her life.

“This house is the reason why I graduated from college.”


“My Habitat house is my foundation,” Dee reflects. “It’s the most secure thing in my life… it’s my roots.” Even though Dee still leads a very busy life with plans to start graduate school later in 2018, she knows she can handle anything with the support of her Habitat home. Her happy place is sitting on her front porch, listening to jazz music and filling the air with aromatherapy.

Dee’s hard work and determination is inspiring everyone in her family. All five of Dee’s children graduated high school, and all 11 of her grandchildren have either already graduated high school, or are on track to do so. Most of her grandkids are following in Dee’s footsteps and are also attending college. “I’m watching generations behind me do good things,” Dee shares. As the first person in her family to attend college, Dee knows the value of education and is excited that she can pass this ideal onto the generations behind her. Her grandkids say, “If Nana can do it, so can we!”

As Dee embarks on her next educational journey to earn her master’s degree in addictions and mental health, she looks forward to being able to help others become independent and fulfill their life’s goals. “If you put in the work and really go for it, anything is possible,” Dee shares.