Susanna has always prioritized her special education students at Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles. The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t change that, even after losing five family members in the same year. She worked tirelessly to support her students, their families, and her co-workers—all while she and her husband, also a teacher, helped their own two children adjust to remote learning.
As a result, Susanna deprioritized some of her own needs. Someone she didn’t expect took notice.
Alicia Keys—the 15-time Grammy Award winner, singer-songwriter, and philanthropist—teamed up with Amazon Home to celebrate Susanna and to surprise the teacher with a long-overdue home makeover.
“As a mom of two, creating spaces where I can comfortably spend time with my family is important,” Keys said. “Whether it’s gathering in the kitchen for our favorite meal or just chillin’ in the living room, Susanna and I both agree there’s nothing better than quality time with the people you love.”
Susanna’s family experienced hardships with both their previous and current homes, so Amazon transformed their home—inside and out. Amazon brought in brand new furniture and decor to reimagine their living room, dining room, and bedroom. In the kitchen, Amazon brought in new tile and countertops, along with the latest cookware.
The backyard, which was at the top of Susanna’s priority list, was made over to include a new garden, fire pit, and in-ground trampoline. Susanna’s love of entertaining inspired Amazon to create more space for gathering and to provide an outdoor seating and dining area.
In addition, Amazon will complete Susanna’s Classroom Wish List to ensure she and her students are set up for a successful new year in the classroom.
"My family and I are beyond grateful to Amazon Home, Ms. Alicia Keys, and everyone involved for making our house into a home,” Susanna said. “We have lived here for four years, and the projects were big and never ending. This wonderful gift made our house into a warm home. I am still discovering products here and there, whether in my bathroom or kitchen, which is always a nice surprise."
“Like music, interior design is a form of self-expression,” added Keys, who learned about Susanna after the longtime teacher was nominated by her peers. “Finding your own personal style to bring your personality and creativity to life is what I love most about designing any space.”
The home transformation features furnishings and decor from Safavieh, Rivet, and Christopher Knight Home, along with cookware from Instant Pot, Calphalon, and Ninja, pet products from Petsafe and Petstages, floorcare from iRobot, and more.
Customers can shop everything featured in the Hometown Hero makeover by visiting amazon.com/hometownheroes. In addition, customers can visit Alicia’s Must-Haves at amazon.com/AliciasMustHaves.
As part of the project, Amazon is also making donations in honor of Susanna to some of the organizations close to Keys’ heart: Keep a Child Alive, Your Mom Cares, Breathe with Me Revolution, and Until Freedom.