Here at First Story, we know that homeownership creates stability for families. And once that solid foundation is laid, many of our First Story families find ways to pay it forward by helping to build others up.

That’s Dulce story, and it’s taken her from homeless teen mom to college graduate and on to being a housing advocate for families who need extra support.

Dulce and her then-husband and daughter moved into their First Story house in 2011. Up to that point, she’d been in and out of school as she juggled parenthood, work, and her education.

She had finished high school but always had her eye on completing college. Being selected for a First Story house gave Dulce’s family the stability she needed to do just that. She graduated with a degree in human development and family sciences, which in turn led to her career as a family engagement and partnership specialist with the High Desert Education Service District.

In this role, she helps families of school-age children secure affordable housing, creating the foundation they need to succeed in school. She says it feels like she’s come full circle.

“First Story provides stability for families who have a difficult time obtaining home ownership because of a number of factors,” she said. “For us, we were young, and we didn’t know how to go about the process of becoming homeowners. The fact that First Story believed we were worthy of being recipients meant they believed in what we wanted to achieve, and them believing in us encouraged my belief in myself.”

More than a decade later, Dulce is more thankful than ever for her First Story home and the security it continues to provide for her and her family.