A Message from the Administrator
At the heart of every successful organization are the people who work to make our community a better place to live. At PAH, one person who defines the quality of our services is our Homebuyer Education Class Trainer and Housing Counselor, Rosa Eggleton. Rosa is part of the Jefferson County community because, as she explains, she “met a nice guy from Kearneysville.” Consequently, Rosa has been a resident of West Virginia since 2003.
Rosa began her life in Manhattan, then moved to Florida. When she was 13 years old, her family moved to Puerto Rico, where she completed high school and, at 16, began attending college on a scholarship. A magna cum laude graduate of the Interamerican University, Rosa holds a BA in social work and a minor in psychology.
Rosa is part of a large, committed family that shares familial strength, laughter and good food. She is the mother of five children and, at current count, 11 grandchildren, although she laughingly shares, “That number is constantly changing.”
Rosa has been with PAH since 2010. The Partnership is fortunate to have her as a member of our team, and we know that her program participants agree. Rosa brings an extensive background in housing counseling and social work service delivery. Prior to joining PAH, she worked for five years as a Housing Counselor/Budget Credit Counselor and Homebuyer Education Trainer for Telamon Corporation. She also worked for the WorkForce Investment Act Program as Director of Case Management Services and as Supervisor and Counselor for the Summer Youth Program in Guayama, Puerto Rico.
Rosa is bilingual, enabling PAH to offer all classes and one-on-one housing counseling in Spanish. The homeownership process can be daunting; Rosa’s role often expands to serving as both interpreter and translator of documents. Her diverse housing and social work background combine to make her a skilled and dedicated Housing Counselor. She works hard on her own education, updating her knowledge to maintain her status as a certified Housing Counselor and adopter of the National Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling–NeighborWorks America.
Lucky people recognize their own gifts and use them. Rosa was born to teach. In addition to housing counseling, she maintains her West Virginia teacher’s license and works as a substitute instructor for the Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) 8 Strategic Planning in Occupational Knowledge for Employment and Success (SPOKES) program. She also has taught Spanish classes for Berkeley County Adult and Community Education. A word of caution: If the class you are attending happens to get boring, be careful about complaining. Rosa also teaches Latin Social Dance, so you just may need to get up and learn a few steps!
Most non-profits say that the best advertisement is word of mouth. In the case of Rosa, word of mouth travels fast. She provides fair, consistent support throughout the homebuyer process, and PAH’s program participants tell their friends and family. A program participant’s trust is the best goal a Housing Counselor can achieve.
On a monthly basis, Rosa walks the potential homeowner through the ABC’s of the responsibilities and opportunities of homeownership, helping families to ask themselves, “Are we ready to buy a home?” Rosa provides the tools and knowledge to help a family answer that most important question. She then teaches more: Shopping for a Home, Keeping Your Home & Managing Your Finances, Post-purchase Information, Managing your Money, Understanding Credit, and Getting a Mortgage Loan. Her interactive style keeps the class engaged. One hundred percent of those who attend the Homebuyer Education Class achieve their Certificate of Completion.
Many program participants realize that they need one-on-one housing counseling focused on their credit and budgeting readiness. Rosa assists them in developing their own individualized Housing/Action Plan to allow them to stay focused on their long-term goal.
Being part of helping a family become a homeowner is an honor for the team here at PAH. When that moment comes, I flash to the image of Jimmy Stewart in his role as George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” George and his wife welcome new homeowners with these words and symbolic gifts:
“Bread, that this house may never know hunger. Salt, that life may always have flavor. And wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever.” It’s just a tiny scene, but it captures a universal moment, the fulfillment of a dream.