By now, most of us in Lawrence know the name Trei Dudley. She was just named the National Youth of the Year by the Boys and Girls Club of America. If you missed her amazing story, read up on Trei here.
Turns out, Trei's family lives in a Lawrence Habitat home. Her family was selected a few years ago and moved into their home in 2006. The family was Lawrence Habitat's 60th family partner and one of the first to live on Comfort Lane, two blocks in North Lawrence that has just three of the 16 lots left open. You can read more about when they were chosen here.
Much to my delight, I was at the Lawrence School's Foundation Community Education Breakfast this morning and who sits at the Douglas County Bank table but one Ms. Trei Dudley. I couldn't wait to reconnect with her because I actually interviewed her as an 9th grader! And she remembered! I love those moments.
Anyway, now that I'm with Lawrence Habitat but still hold on to my reporting skills, I had to ask her about Habitat's influence on her. When I simply posed the question, she gave an earth-shattering smile.
She recalled the day her mom, Cathy Brittain, got the phone call that the family had been selected as a Habitat family partner. "She started crying so we knew we had gotten it," Trei said. "We were so excited. We all screamed."
Trei noted that usually kids are impatient and antsy and want things done likerightnow, but seeing her family's home being built was an amazing experience.
"I couldn't wait to make my room my own," she said. "This is what my mom worked so hard for. It was comfort. It was ours."
So, now, Lawrence residents, including myself, can say we knew Trei "back when." Big things are in the future for this hardworking, dedicated, intelligent and gregarious young woman.