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As a Habitat for Humanity recipient herself, student Jaliya Slaton now building for others


Jaliya Slaton was just 4 years old when her family became one the first families in her hometown to get a Habitat home in 2000.
 

Hundreds of Madisonville residents showed their support by helping to build the four-bedroom house – football teams, church groups and other complete strangers. Slaton, her parents and her siblings – two little sisters and three older brothers – also helped build the home, although the kids were a little too young to do much.
 

Jaliya Slaton was 4 years old when her family became one of the first in Madisonville to receive a Habitat for Humanity home. (Photo provided)

Jaliya Slaton was 4 years old when her family became one of the first in Madisonville to receive a Habitat for Humanity home. (Photo provided)

“Mine and my younger sister’s job was to control the scene and make sure everything was ‘going well,’” she said with a laugh. “And we also counted nails every once in a while.”
 

In the end, the family was grateful to the many volunteers who help them build their brand new house with a driveway and a huge backyard for her and her siblings to play in.
 

Now 14 years later, Slaton jumped at the opportunity to give back. She joined other students with the University of Kentucky First Generation Initiatives earlier this month to help build the home of a Lexington family. Volunteers prepped the site for construction, which was scheduled to begin this past Saturday. The site will become the home of Mason Groves, a single father who wants his son to experience the joy Jaliya and her siblings did.
 

“Habitat has been a true blessing to my family, and I believe that it is my turn to give back and make a difference in someone’s life,” she said.
 

Slaton is proof of statistics that show that the children of homeowners are more likely to attend college. She is the first in her family to go to college.
 

Slaton is a kinesiology major and she plans to graduate in 2017 and become an occupational therapist specializing in working with special needs children. In addition to her participation in the First Generation program, she is a Willam C. Parker Scholar. She also attends Consolidated Baptist Church, long-time Habitat home sponsors.
 

From Lexington Habitat for Humanity


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