When Keydra applied for a Beaches Habitat for Humanity home in 2015, she was working two jobs – one part-time and one full-time – as a CNA to cover her family's expenses. Money was tight for Keydra and her two children, Keyniah and Edgar.
Keydra learned about the new home construction program at Beaches Habitat through coworkers. "I heard such positive feedback from the experiences of others. They were so excited to share and excited to encourage me to pursue the process. A process that would be the change I was hoping to see in my life as well as my children's lives."
Keydra, Keyniah, and Edgar gathered with their neighbors to lift the first walls of their new home in the fall of 2016. Keydra made volunteering on the construction site part of her routine, using her days off to complete her sweat equity. She enjoyed learning and working alongside the volunteers who helped to build her home. "Being a participant was nothing short of an amazing, life-altering experience."
On June 3, 2017, Keydra used a pair of extra-large scissors to cut a bright blue ribbon strung across her front porch. It was part of the dedication celebration to mark the completion of construction. Shortly after, Keydra signed the mortgage papers for her new, affordable home. That's when the changes really started. No longer needing to work two jobs to pay her bills, Keydra now had time to pursue further education. "As I got settled in, I immediately went back to nursing school [and finished] at the top of my class as Valedictorian."
She also found the freedom to spend more time with her children, who have thrived in their new home.
Keyniah graduated from Fletcher High School last year. "I am so proud of how she finished high school, participating in a plethora of organizations and clubs[, and] being crowned Fletcher's 2021 Homecoming Queen… She is now at the University of North Florida studying Bio-Med, and planning for God to use her well."
Edgar is a high school sophomore with big dreams. "He aspires to become an architect and builder, designing and building the life he dreams to live one day." He's off to a great start, earning A-B Honor Roll in the first quarter. Keydra once told him "to start building his dream today and to never wait." She's so proud that he has taken those words seriously.
Reflecting on the process of becoming a homeowner and the past five years in their home, Keydra calls the experience "the beacon of light that my family and I needed[, putting] my kids and me on a pathway to living up to our fullest potential."
"To all the board members, supporters, volunteers, staff members, etc.: Thank you for being a part of the change that humanity needs to see. Thank you for being the change that our story needs, diverting our destiny toward the betterment of who we truly have the capability of becoming. Thank you for the programs put in place to shift the trajectory of our children's stories as well as our own... Thank you for a hand-up, and not a handout."