At age 16, Naiely felt like her life was spiraling out of control. She and her mom, Thelma, struggled to afford housing in Denver, and were forced to frequently move. Naiely lost focus in school and her grades dropped. Then, she and her mom partnered with Habitat to own their own home, and things began to turn around.
Naiely has always admired her mom’s determination to work hard to build a better life for their family. Thelma was passionate about education, and encouraged Naiely to work hard in school and go to college so that she could have a brighter future. At the time, Naiely didn’t see how college was possible.
“How was I supposed to go to college when we didn’t even have a stable place to live?”
Once Naiely moved into their Habitat home, the stability she had been missing was finally in place, and she was able to focus on her education.
“In the first year of living in our new home, my GPA went from a 1.6 to a 3.7.”
Naiely turned her entire high school career around, secured a full ride scholarship to college, and graduated with a degree in Corporate Social Responsibility.
“I am proud to say that I am a first generation college graduate, not only in my immediate family, but also in my extended family. I have laid the ground work so that my younger cousins are now EXPECTED to go to college and pursue a higher education.”