Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, a South Carolina woman who was once trying to survive as a low-income single mother, now owns her own construction company and makes more than $1 million per year.

The businesswoman decided to explore the field of construction after her mother lost her home due to foreclosure. Hoping to build a new home for her mother, the South Carolina resident enrolled in college and studied construction. But tragedy struck the family before the plan came to fruition.

“Three months before I graduated, my mom passed away,” Lewis-Ellis told ABC4 News. “So, I was never able to build the home that I wanted to build for my mom.”

Still, the grieving daughter pushed forward and opened her own construction company, LLE Construction Group. Today’s she building homes in the neighborhood when she struggled to survive.

“Just to see the families that were going to be moving in, just to see their excitement rekindled me,” the entrepreneur said.