Construction begins on 10th Maroon Edition Habitat for Humanity home

Starkville Habitat for Humanity Board President Charles Ware, homeowner Lou-Quan Lucious, Lucious's grandmother Gracie Jones and MSU President Mark Keenum break ground on Lucious' new home after Reverend Sarah Jo Adams-Wilson says a prayer. (Photo by Mary Rumore, SDN)

MSU President Mark Keenum hands over a hammer to homeowner Lou-Quan Lucious after driving the first nail of her new home while Starkiville Habitat for Humanity Director Joel Downey looks on. (Photo by Mary Rumore, SDN)

Staff Writer

Lou-Quan Lucious and her three children will have a home of their own on Chisholm Drive, thanks to Starkville Habitat for Humanity and volunteers from Mississippi State University.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for Lucious' home, the 10th annual MSU Maroon Edition House, Tuesday morning.

During the ground-breaking ceremony, MSU President Mark Keenum said the program began 10 years ago as a reading program, allowing all incoming freshmen to share an experience together by reading the same book.

"We also wanted them to have a shared service experience as well, and what better experience for them to share than to be able to help someone have a new home, and that's what makes me very proud of this occasion and continuing our partnership and relationship with this wonderful Christian organization, Habitat for Humanity," Keenum said.

MSU Student Leadership and Community Engagement Assistant Director Meggan Franks said, through the partnership with MSU and Starkville Habitat for Humanity, MSU has had the opportunity to place 3,600 volunteers and about 12,600 volunteer hours to help build the previous nine homes for local families.

"All 3,600 of these students have been mentored, coached and loved by Habitat for Humanity construction crews, most of which are volunteers too," Franks said.

Franks thanked Habitat for the opportunity to allow students to learn, serve and be a part of something that is bigger than themselves.

Lucious said she was excited when she first learned she will be the recipient of her own home, which she will share with her boyfriend Lakorian Stewart and her children Na'Layiah, 3, Norkaylen, 7, and newborn Ny'eema.

Lucious said she is most excited to live in a place that will be a better environment to raise her children than her current home.

"Here I will be right around the corner from my grandmother," Lucious said. "I've never had my own home, so being able to bring up my new baby and my kids in a better environment is a great thing for me."

During the ceremony, Lucious thanked all the volunteers and God for giving her the opportunity to own her own home.

Keenum also donated $5,000 check on behalf of MSU for construction of the home.

MSU Student Affairs Vice President Regina Hyatt shared the quote, "You cannot do everything, but you can do something. Do what you can, and you will find that hope has become a powerful force in your life."

"I like that because, I think that's what Habitat is all about," Hyatt said. "It's about hope for a better future for you (Lucious) and your family. It's about hope for our students, who have the opportunity to come here and to experience what it means to give time, energy and effort of themselves. And it's about hope that we all have a place that we can call home."

Hyatt said MSU Student Affairs and Student Leadership and Community Engagement Office is delighted to send students to Starkville Habitat for Humanity to help create hope.