Rebuilding a girl’s dream home after tragedy

Story highlights

Georgia teen Sicily Kolbeck planned to build a tiny house as a school project

Shortly after her family began construction, her father died in a car accident

Sicily and her mother recently finished building the home, with the help of many

Marietta, Georgia CNN  — 

As the school year came to a close, 12-year-old Sicily Kolbeck found herself still without a project. It was a key requirement at the small, independent school she attended just outside Atlanta. If she found the right one – something big and passion-driven – it could set the course for her entire next academic year.

She thought maybe she could start a natural makeup line or dive into some type of research.

Or she could just keep wasting time online.

As she clicked around, she stumbled into the idea of tiny houses – dwellings that pack the conveniences of modern homes into a couple hundred square feet. She found a rabid community around them, blogs and documentaries filled with DIY builders and eco-lovers and folks who lived happily with less.

This could be it, Sicily thought. She’d hardly swung a hammer before, but maybe she could build a tiny house.

She remembered “renovating” the loft in their old barn to make it homier, and how she once turned a massive TV box into a personal playhouse, complete with a doorbell and place settings at the table. Tiny houses became a bit of an obsession, and just in time for school.

“This was the only idea I had,” confessed Sicily, who recently turned 14.

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