CSU Voices and Views

Building a Better Future

By Sergio S. Pineda
Jumpstart Site Manager
CSU Dominguez Hills

Over many weekends and holidays, including most recently Cesar Chavez Service Day, Jumpstart volunteers at Cal State Dominguez Hills have been building a better future for an extraordinary family. Below is the description of the family that we received from Habitat for Humanity.

Jordan, Eric and ShemikaEric and Shemika live with his mother in Long Beach.  The family of three share a 100 square foot room in the deteriorating home.  Their 16-month old son Jordan is growing up fast and Shemika dreams of the day that he has his own room and space to play.  The family struggles with the overcrowding but were forced to make the best of the small space when Eric lost his job more than three years ago.  

For the past two years, Eric has worked as a security officer while Shemika has worked as a cosmetologist for more than eight years.  Eric works the night shift while Shemika works during the day making it difficult for them to see each other.  Eric arrives home every morning around 6:00am—about the time Jordan wakes up to start his day.  Even in this difficult situation, Eric feels blessed to have a job and looks forward to what “God has in store for him next.”  Eric and Shemika are very involved in their church, Eric with the young adults and youth groups and Shemika with the women’s faith groups.  Jordan loves music and reading books with his parents. 

Eric and Shemika look forward to having their own space and a backyard for Jordan to run and play as he grows up.  Owning their own home represents “stability and a secure future” for the family.  For Eric, he feels he “can do anything” now that he is a homeowner and feels the entire process has been a huge blessing.

These photos show the work of CSUDH Jumpstart students to provide Eric, Shemika and Jordan with a home of their own.

Team Leads Jessica Ramirez and Miami Gelvezon unfolding the Habitat for Humanity project sign to publicize our arrival to the neighborhood, and partner family.

Team Leads Jessica Ramirez and Miami Gelvezon unfolding the Habitat for Humanity project sign to publicize our arrival to the neighborhood, and partner family.

Jumpstart long-time volunteer (Fatima) inside what will be the future front entrance of the Draughan Family’s refurbished household.

Jumpstart long-time volunteer (Fatima) inside what will be the future front entrance of the Draughan Family’s refurbished household.

Members taking a much needed break after painting, sanding, and dusting outside the property. It was sizzling day, but it was definitely a great day to help out a family in need!

Members taking a much needed break after painting, sanding, and dusting outside the property. It was sizzling day, but it was definitely a great day to help out a family in need!

Jumpstart Team Lead Miami Gelvezon gets down and dirty as she learns to prepare the soil for laying sod at our 2012 Cesar Chavez Service Day.

Jumpstart Team Lead Miami Gelvezon gets down and dirty as she learns to prepare the soil for laying sod at our 2012 Cesar Chavez Service Day.

First year Corps members Sasha, Beverly, Meriem, and Jeffrey enjoy a raspado (shaved ice), elote con queso (spanish corn on the cob), and a mango con chile as they appreciate a well earned break.

First year Corps members Sasha, Beverly, Meriem, and Jeffrey enjoy a raspado (shaved ice), elote con queso (spanish corn on the cob), and a mango con chile as they appreciate a well earned break.

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