A group of Bridgewater College students and a staff member will put on tool belts and pick up hammers as they spend spring break volunteering as construction workers with Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge Spring Break 2020.
Desiring an alternative way to spend their spring break—in lieu of the traditional beach scene—19 students opted for working with Habitat for Humanity in Mobile, Ala.
The students, accompanied by Chaplain Robbie Miller, will leave for Alabama on Sunday, March 1, and return to campus on Saturday, March 7.
For the 2020 Spring Break Challenge, the group will work in partnership with the Habitat for Humanity Southwest Alabama affiliate.
Anh H. Nguyen, a senior global studies major, from Hanoi, Vietnam, is serving as the student leader for the group.
Nguyen is making her third Habitat trip. She has participated in spring break collegiate challenges in Hattiesburg, Miss., and Abingdon, Va.
One of her favorite things about participating in the Habitat trips was the opportunity to engage in new experiences.
“I barely know anything about construction, but I got to learn new skills in the construction process,” said Nguyen. “In Hattiesburg, we did a lot of painting, while in Abingdon, we put siding on a house.”
“I find Habitat work meaningful and rewarding, especially after I learned more about the damage caused by unstable or lack of housing for families in the book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.”
In addition to Nguyen, Bridgewater College students making the trip are:
Rashed Alfarra, a first-year majoring in computer science, from Khan Younis, Palestine;
Taylor R. Berard, MDMS ’20, from Virginia Beach, Va.;
Macauley L. Calhoun, a sophomore history major, from Barboursville, Va.;
Nathan A. Douglas, a sophomore global studies major, from Annapolis, Md.;
Bailey Ferguson, a junior liberal studies major, from Madison Heights, Va.;
Sophie S. Hargrave, a senior philosophy and religion major, from Greensboro, N.C.;
Margaret N. Hodnett, a sophomore health and exercise science major, from Roanoke, Va.;
Michelle E. Kehoe, a first-year biology major, from Centreville, Va.;
Adam G. Lorfink, a first-year from Winchester, Va.;
Aaron P. Nau, a first-year music major, from Yorktown, Va.;
Andrew C. Nau, a first-year environmental science major, from Yorktown, Va.;
Amanda P. Nesselrodt, a sophomore liberal studies major, from Rockingham, Va.;
Alicja Pietruszewska, an international exchange student, from Belfast, Northern Ireland;
Kayla M. Reeves, a junior mathematics major, from Manassas, Va.;
Naomi P. Reynolds, a sophomore business administration major, from Virginia Beach, Va.;
Takumi Sampei, an international exchange student, from Yokohama, Japan; and
Bryce M. Tonia, a sophomore health and exercise science major, from Virginia Beach, Va.
The BC Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, established in 1995, is one of nearly 700 campus chapters worldwide. Organized by Bridgewater students, the group is affiliated with Central Valley Habitat for Humanity in Bridgewater, and helps provide shelter to the residents of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
This is the 23nd year that Bridgewater College students have used spring break to work on various Habitat projects, including three trips to Miami and one each to Atlanta, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Independence, Mo., and Austin, Texas.
Now in its 44th year, Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing worldwide. The organization works in partnership with people in need throughout the world, building simple, decent shelter that is sold to them at no profit and financed with affordable loans.