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American Dream Comes True For Paterson Substitute Teacher

Carlos and Geovana Pimentel enjoying their warm welcome to their new home on Bergen Avenue in Bergenfield.
Carlos and Geovana Pimentel enjoying their warm welcome to their new home on Bergen Avenue in Bergenfield. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Gregory Lee, president and CEO of Samsung North America, welcomes the Pimentels to their new home as state Sen. Bob Gordon (D-Fair Lawn) looks on.
Gregory Lee, president and CEO of Samsung North America, welcomes the Pimentels to their new home as state Sen. Bob Gordon (D-Fair Lawn) looks on. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Gregory Lee of Samsung North America has a word with Carlos Pimentel.
Gregory Lee of Samsung North America has a word with Carlos Pimentel. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Bergenfield Mayor Norman Schmelz at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a Habitat Bergen home in the borough.
Bergenfield Mayor Norman Schmelz at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a Habitat Bergen home in the borough. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Julia Orlando, director of the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center, said her son worked on building the Pimentel home and learned as much about community as construction.
Julia Orlando, director of the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center, said her son worked on building the Pimentel home and learned as much about community as construction. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Geovana Pimentel clutching a Bible, written in Spanish. Gifting new homeowners with holy books is a Habitat for Humanity tradition.
Geovana Pimentel clutching a Bible, written in Spanish. Gifting new homeowners with holy books is a Habitat for Humanity tradition. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Cutting the ribbon on the 1,900-square-foot home on Bergen Avenue.
Cutting the ribbon on the 1,900-square-foot home on Bergen Avenue. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
The new house at 110 Bergen Avenue, built over 13 months with the help of 750 volunteers.
The new house at 110 Bergen Avenue, built over 13 months with the help of 750 volunteers. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash

BERGENFIELD, N.J. — Geovana and Carlos Pimentel achieved their American Dream Tuesday at 110 Bergen Avenue in Bergenfield – their new Habitat Bergen home .

The first guests in the living room of their three-bedroom residence were corporate and government guests.

The occasion: the ribbon cutting for a 1,900-square-foot home that took six corporate sponsors and 750 volunteers to build over 13 months.

“Everything will change now like day and night,” said Geovana Pimentel, a substitute teacher in Paterson schools who is originally from Costa Rica.

Her husband, originally from Peru, has worked at a Carlstadt factory since 1994.

The couple has two children – Alexander, 8, and Brenda, 5.

Their little apartment in Elmwood Park is very tight, according to Geovana Pimentel.

“Now we have a house,” she said. “There’s going to be peace in our minds.”

Alexander, an avid reader, loves learning about presidents of the United States. But he finds it difficult to get space enough to read.

“I told him in the house he will have his own room – his own special place to read and enjoy,” Geovana Pimentel said.

“But he also has to play together with Brenda, too, and be part of the family.”

The Pimentels were chosen from more than 100 candidates.

In her remarks, Julia Orlando, director of the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center, said the couple has the best credit rating she’s ever seen.

Msgr. Richard Arnhols, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, five blocks away, gave the blessing.

He invited the family to attend church at his parish.

“This is especially meaningful to me since we were homeless a few times growing up,” said Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Paramus, Lodi).

Sen. Bob Gordon (D-Fair Lawn) lauded the effort, too.

Now is the time, he said, for the state of New Jersey to get serious about building affordable housing – including multiple-unit projects – for residents on a mass scale.

The home is environmentally designed and Energy Star certified.

The Pimentel family will move in in a few weeks.

Habitat Bergen will close on a Washington Township property at the end of this month for its next project, according to Jacey Raimondo, executive director.

The project will feature four units – two for veterans, two for senior citizens.

Volunteers will be needed, she said.

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