Nicole was born in Queens, New York and grew up in a Puerto Rican household raised by her mother and grandmother. “My parent’s divorce made a huge impact on all of our lives. My family turned into a one parent household and my mom had to keep the lights on and food in our stomachs,” said Nicole. Her mother worked as a secretary and her grandmother worked as a seamstress in the Bronx to help make ends meet. “If my mother ever stressed about money, she never let us know and I’m grateful these two women taught me how to be a strong, independent woman,” said Nicole.
Nicole graduated from high school and started working as a teacher’s assistant, “I worked with pre-k and kindergarten children until I relocated to Albuquerque,” said Nicole. “It was a hard and scary decision to move alone, but it was the best decision I ever made. I originally moved here to be close to my cousin and best friend who needed help at the time, but I know now it was fate. Albuquerque is where I found myself and learned to stand on my own.”
Shortly after Nicole moved to Albuquerque she started working as a daycare teacher where she met the father of her daughter, Snow. “I knew Snow’s father to be a hard-working, family oriented, single father so I thought I finally had everything I ever wanted. But when I told him I was pregnant he was not excited,” said Nicole. She had always wanted children so she made the decision to keep the baby regardless of what confusion followed.
During a routine prenatal check-up, Nicole learned her baby had gastroschisis. “I was completely broken and scared, but something in my heart told me we were going to be ok. I loved her and so I made the decision to give her the best life possible as a single parent.”
Nicole gave birth to her baby, Snow, in August 2018. “My cousin, my best friend and family were there for me every step of the way and stood with me the entire time Snow was in the hospital. I ran into her father a couple of times, but he didn’t ask about her. It was heartbreaking at first but she has a mom who would go to the ends of the earth for her and we have family and friends that give us all the support we need,” said Nicole.
“I know I’m not the only single mom struggling, but I have worked hard for everything in my life. This home means more than just getting a house. It reminds me that hard work and doing the right thing is rewarding, that women can do anything and we can achieve our goals and make dreams come true. It was a culture shock moving here but the sunsets and mountains make it all worth it. This is our home; this is where my life changed for the better. Thank you, I am forever grateful,” said Nicole.
Nicole and Snow’s home was dedication on May 18th. During the dedication Nicole said, “There are no words to express as a single mother out here on my own how good it feels to be able to provide my daughter with a home of our own. I’m so excited to make memories and watch Snow grow up in our new house.”
Women Build is a program of Habitat for Humanity and provides the opportunity for women to take a proactive step in serving their communities. Learn More about Women Build in Albuquerque.