“Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” – Confucius
This sentiment is true for Future Homeowner, Casey Vallee. Soon after moving to Bloomington in 2014 to attend Indiana University, she discovered her passion: scuba diving and instructing.
“Finding Southern Indiana Scuba and establishing myself within the scuba industry has given me all the reason I need to create my home base in Bloomington. I plan to be a trailblazer in this blooming industry.” During her tenure, she has climbed the ladder to Assistant Instructor Trainer, where she can train divers in over twenty different scuba specialty courses.
The biggest obstacle to her dream is finding safe, affordable housing in her new home base – one of the least affordable places to live in the state of Indiana. “I have been living in Bloomington between places that I could barely afford. It is close to impossible for a single person making minimum wage in a full-time position to afford a safe place to rent in Bloomington.”
While working to establish herself in her career field, Casey found the Habitat program. “Habitat is a crucial piece to fulfilling my life’s dream. My boss told me to apply, which was the biggest relief to be accepted into. For me, the Habitat community has supported my aspirations in a niche industry, in which it would otherwise be completely impossible to gain footing as a young lady from my financial background. The Habitat community is a network that helps make dreams come true.”
Casey was one of the first volunteers to return to the ReStore after the volunteer program paused for several months at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic – coming in before the store opened and after it closed to help clean and organize. “The ReStore crew always let me be creative in reorganization of sales space, which made me feel appreciated and helpful. There is no such thing as limitations when working with the Habitat crew.” She found that true on the construction site as well, when on her first day she was taught how to shingle a roof – effectively overcoming her fear of heights!
“During my partnership with Habitat, I learned that the world is filled with beautiful souls who want to help and watch others succeed. Everything from the support and encouragement at the build site to the teamwork and patience at ReStore has shown me what a loving world we live in. This is my heart-felt thank you to all those who help Habitat help the community.”
The Vallee Family home is sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County Women Build.