Though we may not always realize it, life’s limitations can sometimes inspire us to strive for heights we may not have reached otherwise. Ashton Watson is teaching her two children by example, that to be successful you have overcome obstacles to reach your goals in life.
Born in Lake County, Ashton’s road to homeownership has been a goal that she worked hard to achieve. The family has spent time in a tiny home, lived in a small apartment together, and most recently have been living with Ashton’s mother in Groveland. Everyone is happy to finally have their own space. Her two children, Bryson and Kensley, are very happy to finally have their own bedrooms.
“I am excited. Over the moon! I am so thankful and hopeful about finally becoming a homeowner.
Being able to provide a safe space, a place for my kids to finally be able to call home is all I have wanted.”
~ Ashton Watson, Homeowner
Ashton qualified for our homeownership program after going through the application process two separate times with the help of Program Director, Veronica Troxell. When she didn’t qualify the first time she applied for a Habitat home, Ashton didn’t give up. She made the changes needed to qualify and reapplied during another application cycle. Ashton, like all Habitat Homeowners, invested in the outcome of her new home every step of the way, and participated in her Sweat Equity throughout the process.
“Each homeowner has different needs when they enter the program, so we work with them to offer the specialized support they need in order to participate and become a successful homeowner.”
~ Veronica Troxell, Programs Director
The homeowners earn sweat equity through activities such as volunteering on a worksite or in the office, by attending educational courses such as a First Time Homebuyer, Financial Literacy, or Credit Counseling classes, and many other opportunities for them to get involved. She has participated in different events during this process including Women Build, a veteran’s focused event, and helping place American flags out for the commemoration of Memorial Day.
Ashton wasn’t the only one invested in this process… Habitat homeowners build their homes alongside community partners. For Ashton’s home, Habitat Lake-Sumter partnered with First National Bank of Mount Dora as lead house sponsor to provide the financial investment to build the home, and the students from Eustis Construction Academy at Eustis High School. The students put the finishing touches on the home before the end of the school year. Some of Ashton’s favorite features of the home are the big blue front door, the spacious backyard and having a bedroom for everyone.
President and CEO of First National Bank of Mount Dora, Bob White, had the privilege to hand over the keys to the Watson Family on May 1st, 2023 during the Home Dedication Ceremony celebrating the completion of the home and the end of the school year for the Eustis Construction Academy students. Established in 1925, First National Bank of Mount Dora has been part of Lake County for nearly a century, helping the area grow and prosper.
It all came together.
Ashton thought owning a home was impossible, but for her family, the impossible became possible!
She is looking forward to the new memories she and her children will make there – their new home has made all the difference in her family’s life.