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Renee Scott

Volunteer Spotlight: Ebony Carter

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Habitat Volunteer for 6 years
Three words she uses to describe her experience with us: Compassion, Diverse, Community

Meet Ebony, a dedicated volunteer with a passion for behavioral health and mental health, who is committed to making a positive impact in her community. Ebony’s journey volunteering with Habitat began in 2005 when she moved to Indianapolis, seeking to make friends and get involved in her new city. She found that volunteering was an easy way to meet like-minded individuals and connect with the kind of people who share her values and interests.  

One of the key factors that keeps Ebony coming back to volunteer with Greater Indy Habitat is the fulfillment she derives from it. She describes volunteering as something that “fills her cup” with joy. For Ebony, volunteering is a way to connect with a purpose, to meet people who are in the process of moving into new homes, and to witness the transformational impact that Habitat’s work has on families. She is deeply committed to serving underserved populations and fostering inclusivity. One of Ebony’s most cherished memories with Habitat was helping to finish a house for an immigrant family. The family’s overwhelming gratitude and excitement left a lasting impression on her, emphasizing the transformative power of Habitat’s work. 

Ebony’s love for volunteering lies in the connections she forms with people and the sense of fulfillment that comes from helping others. She firmly believes that those with skills and resources have an obligation to give back. Now, Ebony volunteers with her team at work, as a project manager with IU Health. Her journey with Habitat exemplifies the positive impact that dedicated volunteers can have on the world around them, helping to create stronger and more compassionate communities. If you would like to be a part of making that change happen, check out how to get more involved here 

Hear about our other inspiring volunteers!

Reaching New Heights in 2023

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a historic year in review

As 2023 comes to a close, we reflect on a historic year filled with meaningful milestones for our homeowners, volunteers, supporters, staff and board. Once again, our work this year was a collective effort of thousands of hands and hearts, including yours, which allowed us to navigate the challenges in providing affordable housing in greater Indy.

Watch the video for a recap of this incredible year! Thank you for playing a part in strengthening our mission. See you in 2024!

JaTio’s Journey After Habitat

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Hear about JaTio’s Journey After Habitat

In 2019, JaTio Skinner achieved a remarkable milestone—she became a proud first-time Habitat homeowner. JaTio, along with her now 9-year-old son, helped build her home as part of the Agriculture Build hosted at the Indiana State Fair. Dedicated to her dream of homeownership, she completed the homeownership education program while working full-time night shifts and being a single mother. 

While in the homeownership program, Habitat University, JaTio didn’t just secure a home; she also completed her associate degree at Ivy Tech. This experience gave her the inspiration she needed to continue her education and transfer to the IUPUI Kelly School of Business to earn a bachelor’s degree in HR Management. “I knew I could do anything if I could do this,” she reflects. 

When asked about the role her Habitat home played in her life, JaTio responds, “Everything!” The sense of responsibility and independence she gained from homeownership is invaluable. Financial literacy courses through Habitat University equipped her with the skills to be credit-savvy and financially efficient. Describing the experience as “amazing,” JaTio emphasizes that owning a home brings a sense of peace, as she redirects her money back into her own investment instead of rent. 

Her neighborhood is becoming a close-knit community where her son can play freely. Since partnering with Habitat, JaTio notes so many positive accomplishments in her life. Not only did she gain financial stability, but she also feels the program helped her build character. 

One of JaTio’s fondest memories about Habitat is the care she received from the team. Now comfortable in her home, she has started a new tradition—Christmas Eve pajama parties, where family and friends gather to celebrate the holidays. 

JaTio hopes her journey is an inspiration and she encourages others considering homeownership to believe in themselves. For her, the right mindset and the right commitment are key. “See it, then achieve it. Imagine yourself on closing day cutting that ribbon. It’s hope that will get you there. It can be done; I did it.” 

To help more individuals, like JaTio, achieve their dream of homeownership and build stability for their families, donate today.

Annie Costlow Named Top Honoree for CFO of the Year

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Congratulations, Annie! 

A round of applause for our incredible Chief Financial Officer, Annie Costlow! Named a top three honoree for Indianapolis Business Journal‘s CFO of the Year, Annie’s 12-year journey with us has been nothing short of amazing. Despite challenges in the housing market, we thank Annie and our finance team for leading initiatives to diversify revenue, leading us to a record-breaking year building more homes than ever before.

We’re not just celebrating Annie; we’re also thrilled to acknowledge the achievements of the diverse group of honorees across various industries. Their commitment and contributions are assets to their organizations and to our community. We are grateful for your leadership and how you represent our mission in your work. We celebrate you and how you have strengthened our organization!

Read more about Annie and other financial leaders in our community at the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Volunteer Spotlight: Tony Roscetti

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Three words to describe his Habitat experience: Rewarding, Empowerment, Trust

Meet Tony, a steadfast volunteer at Greater Indy Habitat, whose passion for giving back to the community knows no limit! Tony’s unwavering commitment to Habitat is driven by the transformation he witnesses with each build site he shows up to. He finds profound satisfaction in observing raw materials, like drywall, paint, and 2x4s, change into safe and welcoming homes for families in need.  

Tony’s journey as a Habitat volunteer reflects a deep commitment to continuous learning. He aspires to become a part of the Tiger Team at Habitat someday, marking his transition from acquiring new skills to enjoying the opportunity to share his skills and knowledge with other volunteers.  

Reflecting on his favorite memory from volunteering, Tony recalls a day at a build site where a diverse group of volunteers, all showing up to volunteer as individuals and not with a larger collective group, spent the day working and bonding over their shared commitment. Their camaraderie extended beyond the volunteer hours, as they gathered at a nearby brewery, underscoring the meaningful connections that volunteering with Habitat can foster. 

For those considering involvement with Habitat, Tony offers valuable advice, emphasizing the importance of flexibility. He highlights that no build site ever goes precisely as planned, and adaptability is key. The camaraderie that is created when every volunteer must join in to figure out a problem together is unmatched. Tony leaves every volunteer day, whether the snow is falling, or the humidity is high, feeling empowered and accomplished. However, the best part is that he gets to see that same empowerment transform the homeowners and their families as they learn and help to build their own home.  

Hear about our other inspiring volunteers!

Volunteer Spotlights

Volunteer Spotlight: Kurt Backlund

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Habitat Volunteer for 6 years
Three words to describe his Habitat experience: Fulfilling, Challenging, Fun

Kurt is a dedicated volunteer for Greater Indy Habitat who has been making a significant impact on the organization for the last ten years. Through the organizational partnership with Delta Faucet Company, Kurt has volunteered on the build site alongside his team and colleagues to help build homes in our community. Kurt embodies the spirit of volunteerism and community engagement, demonstrating unwavering commitment and enthusiasm towards Habitat’s mission of providing affordable housing solutions.  

For Kurt, the draw of volunteering with Greater Indy Habitat lies in the blend of personal fulfillment, teamwork, and community building. He loves the chance to roll up his sleeves and engage in hands-on work, finding immense joy in working alongside the Habitat team, his coworkers, and the future homeowners. One of Kurt’s favorite parts about being a long-time Habitat volunteer is that once he mastered a specific construction skill (like installing exterior trim), he is now able to experience mentoring and helping other volunteers learn those same skills. Beyond the physical aspects, what truly keeps Kurt coming back is the infectious passion, work ethic, and drive exhibited by the homeowners. The homeowners’ unwavering determination serves as a powerful motivator, reaffirming the importance of Habitat’s mission. 

Kurt shares his deep appreciation for the Habitat community, expressing that volunteering on a Habitat build is his favorite day of the year. He eagerly anticipates many more years of volunteering, including perhaps becoming a member of the Tiger Team upon retirement from Delta Faucet! The dedication of volunteers like Kurt showcases the spirit of volunteerism that helps make Habitat thrive. Want to become one of those people? Find out ways to become involved in changing your community.  

Hear about our other inspiring volunteers!

Volunteer Spotlights

Read About Bugashane’s Passion for Computer Design

By | Homeowner, News | No Comments

Meet Bugashane Mugoovi, a promising first-year student at Purdue University, starting his academic journey in Computer Graphic Tech and UX Design. He gained a passion for computer design and software his first semester and was happy his major aligns with his interests. Hoping to make his parents proud, Bugashane chose Purdue because of their prestigious programs and to fulfill a dream of his own.  

Despite being in the early stages of his college career, Bugashane envisions a future working in computer graphics and software, with aspirations to work for companies like InVideo. His first semester at Purdue has been filled with exciting experiences, including plans to run for a position in the Student Government Association and engaging in campus life through intramural sports like volleyball. 

Bugashane’s educational journey is rooted in his family’s Habitat home, offering stability after multiple moves during his earlier years. He feels happy to know his siblings won’t have to constantly change schools because of their family moving. Their home also fosters a sense of togetherness. Memories of family gatherings and Sunday backyard cleanups paint a picture of a home.  

He recalls celebrating his brother’s birthday when they first moved into their home. “It was nice because there were a lot of shops nearby that we could take him. The fact that we live in a good location is nice.” The impact of their home extends beyond the physical space; it has brought positive changes to Bugashane’s family dynamics. With his father’s job now closer to home, the family enjoys more quality time together. 

We wish Bugashane the best as he navigates the exciting challenges of college life. Having the privilege of a secure home can empower individuals to pursue their dreams. Looking forward to all the success you will reach! 

Inspired by his story? Click here to learn about the 2024 scholarship opportunity.

Read more about the stories of our remaining three scholarship recipients.

Hear From Kali About Her Pursuit In Nursing

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Kali Negussie is pursuing her second bachelor’s degree, this time in nursing at IUPUI. Having completed her undergraduate studies in psychology and human development at Purdue University last spring, Kali’s decision to transition to nursing stems from a desire to build stability and independence for herself early in life. The accelerated BSN program is set to begin in January 2024. She is interested in various specialties like NICU, pediatrics, dermatology, and public health and aspires to become a nurse practitioner. 

Kali’s family journey with Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity began in 2009 when her family moved into their four-bedroom, one-bath home. Originating from Ethiopia, Kali’s family found a place to call their own in their Habitat home. Before, they were renters through the Carraige House, where other immigrant families find housing support. Her grandmother comes to visit often.  

For Kali, their Habitat home houses her favorite memories, including putting up the Christmas tree and sharing Sunday lunches as a family. “For my parents, it was a place they can call home. My dad said he wanted to own a home in his lifetime.” We are happy to see he is finally living out this dream. She also remembers painting rooms around the house with her mother when they first moved in. 

Encouraged by her father, who values education deeply, Kali applied for the Greater Indy Habitat scholarship. He said, “Education is the most important thing because no one can take it away from you.” Her academic achievements, including finishing ninth among all students academically at Ben Davis, reflect the dedication to education instilled by her family. She attributes her success to being surrounded by high achieving individuals. 

She chose IUPUI because it is close to home and because there are good hospitals in Indianapolis that she can train at. As she prepares to attend IUPUI, Kali is planning a trip to Ethiopia this fall to spend time with family and friends. Through the scholarship, Kali is one step closer to reaching her dreams and also is excited for continuous growth. The Negussie home is an example of the power of stable, affordable homeownership. 

Congratulations, Kali! 

Inspired by her story? Click here to learn about the 2024 scholarship opportunity.

Discover the stories of our remaining three scholarship recipients.

Wisdom Korrie’s Path to Mechanical Engineering

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Wisdom Korrie is on a promising journey as a first-year student at Ivy Tech. His pathway to Ivy Tech started through the Dream Alive program and a campus tour. DREAM Alive is a nonprofit that provides 7th –12th graders career-focused experimental learning, mentored relationships, and character development. He realized Ivy Tech was a perfect fit for him. Currently enrolled in English and Economics classes, Wisdom is exploring different subjects and options. He has expressed interest in mechanical engineering and automotive technology. He hopes to study something that gives him versatility. Looking ahead, Wisdom envisions transitioning to IUPUI after completing two years at Ivy Tech. 

Wisdom’s passion for mechanics traces back to working on cars with his father, who gave him hands-on learning. “My dad would say, ‘Wisdom, come look at this.’” He started doing break jobs, coolant washes, and transmission work. The City Life on Wheels program at Purdue Poly Tech High School further fueled his enthusiasm. “I was into really anything to get my hands working.” 

The Korrie family, owners of their Habitat home for nearly seven years, found a place where they could grow. Before Habitat, they were in a duplex in a neighborhood that was not the best. “My parents leaped for joy when they discovered Habitat,” shared Wisdom. “They had a lot more freedom to do what we want.” As a middle child among seven siblings, Wisdom is responsible for taking his siblings to school.  

When Wisdom learned about the Greater Indy Habitat scholarship opportunity, he said, “Oh wow. I feel like God is working for me.” As he begins his career at Ivy Tech, Wisdom looks forward to forging connections, making friends, and embracing the college experience. We hope God continues to work for Wisdom and his family! 

Inspired by his story? Click here to learn about the 2024 scholarship opportunity.

Discover the stories of our remaining three scholarship recipients!

From Dreams to Degrees: Alexis Adams’ Scholarship Journey

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Meet Alexis Adams, a tenacious junior at IUPUI on the journey of forensic science. Raised in the nurturing environment of her Habitat home since the age of three, Alexis has not only excelled academically but also has a deep passion for true crime and chemistry. 

Choosing IUPUI for its renowned forensic science program, Alexis was also drawn to initiatives they offer like the Diversity Enrichment and Achievement program (DEAP). Here, she gets diverse experiences in a sometimes less diverse academic setting. Alexis continues to excel academically, surpassing her own expectations and steadily proving her capabilities to herself, despite her doubts. 

Balancing school, Alexis, a former choir singer, now works at Walmart and is now seeking internships to gain hands-on experience in her field. With aspirations to become a forensic scientist, she envisions herself as a wonder woman making significant contributions to her field in a new city outside of Indy. 

For Alexis, her Habitat home is not just a house; it’s the backdrop to so many childhood memories, from walks to school with her brother to neighborhood friends and family gatherings. Alexis attributes her success and resilience to the stability provided by her home and acknowledges her mother’s teachings on the importance of having an affordable mortgage. Alexis sees the Habitat scholarship as another valuable gift to her family.  

Congratulations Alexis for being one of four recipients of the Habitat scholarship! Your dedication to your academic journey and pursuit of forensic science is incredible. Wishing you continued success in achieving your goals! 

Inspired by her story? Click here to learn about the 2024 scholarship opportunity.

Read more of the stories of our remaining three scholarship recipients!