Diana Villalobos was born in the City of Irapuato, Mexico – a town that is famous for their strawberries. Her father started working in Austin when Diana was 14, and the family relocated here to be together. When Diana first arrived in the United States, she said, “it was a new world.” She loves living in the U.S. because she gets to know other cultures and people. Diana says she learns something new all the time.
Diana lives in an apartment in Elgin, where she likes the quiet, connected community. She moved here in 2017 after living with her parents in a singlewide home. The home was small and crowded – her brother’s family moved there after their home flooded in Bastrop. There were also issues such as electrical and roofing problems. Diana enjoys having her own space now, but her apartment complex is not pet-friendly, and she misses her pit bull, Beguria, who still lives with her parents.
Even though Diana has a stable job as a Family Advocate at Head Start in Bastrop, it is difficult for her to save money to buy a home. It’s always been a dream of hers to be a homeowner and have a space to call her own. After learning about the Austin Habitat program at a Head Start event, she inquired about the program. Diana was on the waitlist for two years and ready to give up her dream of homeownership when she got the call from our Housing Counselor. They asked if she was still interested, and Diana exclaimed, “Yes!”
Diana is a caretaker at heart – always helping other people in her professional and personal life. Her father recently had surgery, and her mother has bad knees that make it difficult to move around their home. Diana is looking forward to having a safe, stable home where her parents can safely age-in-place. She also can’t wait to reunite with her dog and have a space for her to run. She says, “I want her to feel free.” With a stable home, Diana can focus on other life goals such as continuing her education in the social work field, since she has excelled in working with families at Head Start.
Diana tears up as she tells her story because normally she is the one who listens to other people. She hasn’t had the opportunity to tell her story before, and she’s grateful for others who want to listen. When asked what she would like to tell the sponsors and volunteers who are helping build her home, Diana responded, “I’m so thankful for everything that the volunteers do. It’s amazing to see people coming together just because they want to help. You don’t see that often…Sometimes I can’t find the words to express everything I’m feeling. I’m just so thankful for the opportunity to make a dream come true that I didn’t think would happen.”
Diana moved into her new home in May of 2019.