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A Home Transforms a Family's Future

Jacob Burnett is proud to have been selected as a Rhodes scholar to study at the University of Oxford in England, where he has earned one master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice and is working on a second in global governance and diplomacy. However, the Indiana native says the proudest he has ever been is the night that his family slept in their new Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County home...

Continue reading to hear from Jacob...

Habitat for Humanity holds a special place in my and my family’s hearts. When we moved into our new home, it marked the blissful realization of struggle, hard work, community support and grit.

It was also the 10th and final move my family made. The end of packing, unpacking, uprooting our lives and changing schools. Habitat for Humanity gave my family something meaningful: stability, safety and hope.

In the house my family lived in before our Habitat home, I remember waking up and being covered in red bumps. It wasn’t the first time. They were bedbug bites. We couldn’t afford an exterminator, so we tried bug bombing our house. It helped but didn’t eliminate the problem...


Jacob and his mother.

My mom is relentlessly noble. Even though we were financially strained, my mother ensured that my siblings and I received everything we needed...

Because of my mom’s hard work and support, I was the first person in my family to graduate high school and attend college. I remember when I opened a letter from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County in February 2011...

Roughly three and a half years after, I received a Rhodes scholarship to study for two years at the University of Oxford.

After years of trying to thrive under the federal poverty line, we were preparing to take part in something that my mother fought for: a home for all of us. A home where she could have Christmas with her children and grandchildren for years to come. A home where birthdays, happy occasions and possible grieving could occur..

As for me, Habitat for Humanity has taught me the importance and right of affordable, safe housing. I want to dedicate parts of my life and apply the skills I have developed to address a humanitarian right: the right to a home.


To read more amazing stories of Habitat homes changing lives, click here.

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