Avante, born and raised in Gainesville, is a Behavior Program Specialist (BPS) Supervisor at Tacachale – a developmental disability center which is dedicated to improving the quality of life of its residents. She has been working in the mental health field since 2010 and previously worked at the North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center. Avante is also enrolled in the nursing program at Santa Fe College.

In addition to her required sweat equity hours for Habitat, Avante also dedicates her time volunteering at her church and her elementary school-aged son Joshua’s school. Her passion for helping others is apparent not only through her professional choices and community service, but also the friendly and caring personality her son already exudes.

Joshua specializes in making friends - according to him, he “never stops meeting people.” In school, his favorite activity is participating in reading groups. He is also skilled in math and loves computer games. Playing in his new home and having his own room are two of the things Joshua is most excited for. He is also excited about sharing the new house with his new baby brother, Micah.

“It’s a life-changing experience,” Avante explains, “It makes you better.” She enjoys participating in builds for other families, attending homeowner workshops, and learning many valuable skills. While Avante’s homeownership journey has been very educational, it also requires hard work and dedication. After overnight shifts at Tachachale, Avante would leave work and go sleep at the build site, where she was helping another family construct their home, just so she would be there on time. Working full-time, volunteering, raising a child, and taking classes does not leave much time for the family to watch movies, swim, and enjoy their other favorite activities, but Avante knows that all the hard work will be worth it in the long run. Their new home will provide a safer, healthier environment for everyone, and will provide more opportunities for the family to enjoy what life has to offer. Although the process is taxing, Avante explains every step has been fun and completely worth it.

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