Gloria is a driven single mother that is devoted to her family. She works two jobs to help support her daughter, TiShayla, and 14-month old cousin, Kenira. They enjoy eating dinner as a family and taking trips to local parks.
Education is extremely important in Gloria’s household. She has worked for 19 years as a substitute teacher in Knox County, and this experience has taught her the significance of learning. As such, Gloria encouraged TiShayla to live at home and save money while she works toward attaining her master’s degree in Psychology. Gloria wants her daughter to be as responsible as possible as she moves forward with this next milestone in her life.
Gloria has a “very supportive group of friends and family” that encouraged her to apply for the program and have supported her throughout her journey. She decided she wanted to do better for herself and her family, and in turn, she also wanted to inspire her daughter to “accomplish whatever [she] strives for.” She tells her daughter to “set any goal you want and stay focused, and you can achieve it.”
While working in retail and as a substitute teacher, Gloria has also been attending weekly budgeting classes as part of Knoxville Habitat’s homeownership education program. These classes help Gloria complete 500 hours of “sweat equity” required for Habitat homeownership. These budget classes have had a huge impact on Gloria’s life, and she sees how much she has learned and grown while working through the program.
Gloria enjoys “talking with different people that are going through” the year-long budgeting class. She remembers being nervous when she first started her classes. She would look at people who are in the beginning stages of building their homes and thinking, “one day that will be me.” Now, she serves as a mentor to future homeowners that have just entered their own budgeting classes.
The idea of owning a home inspires Gloria to “keep working and doing what you need to do to better yourself.” She says that even though she will pay a mortgage for years to come, she will be “paying towards a goal.” She believes this has given her the confidence to work toward other goals she sets in the future.
After all the work and time that she has devoted to working through the program, Gloria could not be more “excited to be at this point.” Gloria describes the idea of being a homeowner as a “blessing” and a “joy.” She is eager to have a space that will be her own.