2011 Student Chapter & City of Champaign
The Frazier Dedication will be on Friday July 15th at 5:30pm at the house (607 E. Beardsley, Champaign). All are welcome!

Towanda Frazier, born and raised in Champaign, knows the meaning of family. She is the youngest of 6 girls, and has always been close with her family. It was her sister, Jazz, who encouraged her to apply for a Habitat house. “I always wanted to apply but I never thought I’d get accepted,” Towanda said. So in 2008, Jazz picked up an application for Towanda to fill out – something Towanda still remembers. “I’m thankful to my sister for giving me a push. She taught me you should never stop believing.”

Because of that push, Towanda is on the road to becoming a Habitat homeowner. It’s not always easy – Towanda works nights as a custodian at Parkland College, which makes it hard to spend as much time with her kids - Courteney, Malik and Mo’Neya - as she’d like. Courteney is 21 with a 17 month old son, and she’d like to be a nurse. Malik is going to be a Freshman in high school, and loves sports, and Mo’Neya is 13 and likes to cook and be a girl – she loves doing her nails. Despite being busy, Towanda’s kids and grandson are still the most important thing to her. “I want to have something for the kids to have to call home – I want them to be excited to be able to decorate their own rooms. And I want a backyard for a swing set for my grandson!”

Towanda and her children have been living in a rental house in Urbana for the past few years, but Towanda is ready for home-ownership. She’s ready to take on the home maintenance and finance classes. She’s ready to put her money towards a mortgage, instead of towards someone else getting ahead. She’s ready to work on her build. Her Family Mentor, Rich Whittington, can see that she’s ready for the next step. “I love Towanda,” Rich said. “She has really taken ownership of earning her sweat equity…She also has taken the initiative to pursue educational opportunities. She is great.” Towanda has said of her family, “We believe in sticking together.” This is apparent by the fact that her entire family has been working with Towanda on her sweat equity hours, both in the ReStore and at other fundraising events.

When asked what would change by owning her own home, Towanda answered simply: “Everything.” Towanda would like to go back to school someday to get a degree in the social work field: “I want to help people, because so many people have helped me.” At Habitat, we are happy to be providing the Frazier family with a hand up, and to learn a valuable lesson from Towanda: never stop believing.
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