Creating access to more affordable housing through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
I was living in a three-bedroom house with thirteen people. Me and my kids were all in one room and the neighborhood wasn't good, it was kind of rough.
SUPER: Amanda, Habitat For Humanity Homeowner
It seemed like nothing was possible back then because it was such a stressful situation. I felt like there was no hope because I was single with three kids, one job and I was like I have to find some stability for my children.
A cousin of mine came and she gave me a Habitat for Humanity flyer. At first I was like it's too good to be true and I was like Ok, well let me try it out. So they told me everything that I needed and I was on it, I was like not turning back, I was going forward, I'm going to get a house and that's it.
You had to put in 200 hours of sweat equity in Los Angeles and working side by side with Bank of America volunteers was a great experience because they were taking time out of their job to come and care and help a family in need and they were excited and everyone was happy to come and volunteer and help and I was like, this is really cool.
So, I've been owning my own home for four years and it means the world to me because everything I do, I do it for my children-to make sure that they are safe, to make sure that they have stability, to be able to focus on school and what they need to do. So they've been doing great. My girls are on the honor role. My son, he's in eleventh grade now, he's graduating high school in a couple of years so we have to start getting ready for him for college.
I got promoted about a year and a half ago, I'm a Central Service Supervisor now at LAC USC Medical Center. It makes me feel like you’re on the right track, you're doing good mom.
I think the Habitat for Humanity, the work is important because it gives people hope. When I sit back and think about what I went through, it's like, I know I can strive for anything I want now. It's like whatever I set my mind to, I can do it, I know I can.
Amanda is just one of many homeowners that Bank of America and Habitat for Humanity have worked with over the past 30 years. It's one of the ways we're helping local economies thrive.
End Graphic: Bank of America logo, Habitat for Humanity logo. Celebrating 30 years of building thriving communities bankofamerica.com/aboutCelebrating 30 years of working with Habitat for Humanity bankofamerica 1359940|enter782|cr-en402 1359940|enter782|2014_859|| 1359940|enter782|2014_581||
People with disabilities, particularly someone with high-level spinal cord injuries, as Chandler experienced, have to overcome a long list of environmental and attitudinal barriers. I think that drive and persistence have really helped him to not only overcome the barriers, but also really excel in what he’s doing. I think the other thing that’s remarkable about Chandler and has been the case for the 16 years I’ve known him, is his outlook on life is just very optimistic and positive.
When you first meet Chandler, you’ll be quick to realize that he’s an extremely sharp, quick witted guy whose work ethic will inspire you. Chandler is an outstanding people person. The patience and empathy he shows towards everyone really drives his success. His optimism on life is just contagious. And he’s really just a fun guy to work with.
I think the bank, when he came in, they saw a young man and not the chair. They saw the attitude, the knowledge, the hunger to learn and do. Determination, positive, retaining his knowledge. Researching. Those all propelled him forward. I think it gives him a sense of confidence that exudes. He shares it with everyone.
When we first hired Chandler, we were somewhat apprehensive about both his physical disabilities and his lack of experience. What we realized very quickly was that Chandler’s willingness to learn, his thirst for knowledge, and his willingness to work with a team far outweighed any of our concerns. And we would definitely encourage people to look for more people like Chandler.
I think with the can-do attitude and how proactive and eager Chandler has been, I think he has a lot of runway. We just promoted him this year. We see continued success for Chandler and continued expansion of his role and certainly opportunity for additional roles either in my department or also in other places within the company if that’s where he’d like to take his career.
Chandler approaches each challenge with a positive and helpful attitude. He doesn’t take no for an answer. He wants to understand what he’s doing and why and how it fits into the big picture. The advice I would give to other employees from a manager perspective when recruiting candidates is not limit your scope or exclude a candidate that may have a physical disability. Those are easily overcome with today’s technology. If you’re not broadening your scope, you could be missing out on top talent.
I have many important people that have come across my life that have done many things for me that I’m inspired by. If I’d narrow it down for this question, I’d say that one is certainly my girlfriend Natalie who’s been with me for the last eight years. I think accepting someone with a disability and being able to be in a relationship is not something that everyone can do. It takes a lot of time, a lot of care and a lot of commitment. My second role model would be Donna Sobotkin, my vocational rehab counselor off-and-on for the last 16 years. Her commitment to public service and the clients that she has is amazing. It just makes me want make her proud.
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