Rhyana has always considered herself a very independent person.
She graduated a year early from high school to give birth to her first daughter, Brianna. She finished Medical Administrative school a year after she graduated high school and has now been in the medical field for over 15 years. Rhyana now has three daughters, and she says they are her whole world. When she’s not working, she’s spending time with them.
“My daughters have never been challenging. I’m lucky. With them, I have three best friends all the time.”
Growing up, her own mother always rented and there wasn’t consistency for Rhyana. She says her mother tried the best she could and has been a big part of Rhyana’s journey to homeownership, but Rhyana wants to give her daughters something she never had. A place to build memories that they can take with them wherever they go and can return to at any time to create more of them.
Currently, Rhyana’s been renting as long as she can remember.
“We move every two years so that our neighbors don’t realize that it’s just me and my girls. It’s for our safety, but it can be a lot after a while,” says Rhyana. “You start to think, what’s the next step?”
Two of Rhyana’s friends purchased Habitat homes, so she decided to learn more by attending an info session and then applied.
Rhyana has now been in the Habitat program since March 2018 and her oldest daughter, Brianna, has been completing sweat equity hours by her side. They go to the build site early in the mornings together, and it has become a time for them to bond. Rhyana thinks of the build site as a new and different adventure every time she goes because of all the different kinds of volunteers she meets.
“I love that Habitat is volunteer based,” says Rhyana. “Every week I meet someone new—from the Marines, the Army, people from the general community, employees from a doctor’s office—just out there, giving their time to make sure these houses are getting built. It’s a nice reminder, given the world right now, that there are great people out there.”
Now that she’ll forever be part of the Habitat family, she plans on volunteering on the weekend with her girls. Knowing that someone will be in the same position she is now, Rhyana wants to make the same kind of impact on future Habitat homeowners that the volunteers are making on her.
She wants to look out for others in her community. She wants to make sure they have a home of their own one day.