Aisha & Family

Aisha has known Bloomington since second grade and her childhood memories are tightly woven around this familiar place. She shares her life with her children, Samaria (19), Ava (18), Amahd (15), and Jordan (9). Through her story, Aisha not only pays tribute to her own experiences but also aims to inspire others to embrace the journey of self-discovery and the timeless pull of home.

After graduating from Bloomington High School North, Aisha began to explore various career paths before ultimately joining the army. Upon return from the military, she refocused on her education attending classes at Ivy Tech and Indiana University before moving to pursue her bachelor’s in Indianapolis. However, after eight years away, she returned to Bloomington to reclaim her home.

“When you’re young, you want to go. You want to explore,” Aisha said. “Growing up, as a little girl of color, it felt like there wasn’t anything for me here. Even though we had community, I felt out of place and disconnected. That was a part of wanting to see, explore, experience, and do.”

“I came back because the grass is always greener,” she continues. “Bloomington is home—and your heart always pulls you back to home.”

Upon return, the challenging housing prices in Bloomington led Aisha and her children to share a 3-bedroom apartment in a dangerous neighborhood. The struggle with the astronomical cost of living forces her daughters to share a room, and her sons, six years apart, to share another.

“We’re grateful to have a space, but we had to settle on what we could. You can imagine what it’s like for my boys, who are six years apart. Jordan is 9 years old, Amahd is a teenager.”

The age gap between her sons adds another layer of complexity to their living situation—on top of an unsafe community and mold in their apartment.

Even before departing Bloomington, Aisha aspired to become a homeowner—the first in her family to do so—and she envisioned accomplishing this through the Habitat program. To prepare for her dream, she took on extensive research, especially turning to various Habitat YouTube videos for guidance and inspiration.

“I get the unique opportunity to put in the work for my own house,” She recalls. “I get to know my neighbors. I get to teach my children how to work for something that you really want.”

To Aisha, owning a home represents more than just having a roof over her head—it embodies empowerment, equity, and the breaking of barriers for families who have been historically marginalized. She feels passionate about the wealth-building opportunities that homeownership offers and emphasized the importance of the connections she’s formed through the Habitat program. Among these connections is her budget partner, Aldona, who has evolved into a cherished lifelong friend.

In the first few months, Aisha shares that she and her family are most looking forward to decorating. As Aisha speaks about this, her eyes wander to the antique trim around the door frames of the Habitat office. She finds herself drawn to it, appreciating its timeless beauty and craftsmanship. It’s moments like these that inspire Aisha, as she constantly dreams and envisions the future of her own home.

“I’m most excited about my room, but I am going to help with all the rooms,” chimed in Aisha’s son, Jordan, who was present for the discussion. “It won’t be home if we didn’t all help.”

Through Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County’s Youth Sweat Equity Program, all of Aisha’s children have an opportunity to choose their own bedroom paint color—a meaningful way to feel a sense of ownership of their new space. Jordan eagerly awaits his galaxy-themed room.

“I have longed for this. We have longed for this. Home is a place of peace. It is where stories and memories—both good and bad—are made. It is with your loved ones. We are home where we are. We are home.”

Aisha’s home is generously sponsored by The Sonneborn Family.