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Bridgewater College Students to Serve With Habitat for Humanity Over Spring Break

February 21, 2017

Graphic of Habitat for Humanity Logo

A group of Bridgewater College students, along with  faculty and staff members, will trade suntan lotion and swim suits for hammers and tool belts as they spend spring break volunteering as construction workers with Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge Spring Break 2017.

The students, accompanied by Dr. Jason Ybarra, assistant professor of physics, and Louis Sanchez, admissions counselor, will leave for Hattiesburg, Miss., on Sunday, March 5, and return to campus on Saturday, March 11.

For the 2017 Spring Break Challenge, the group will work in partnership with the Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

Lauren Flora, a junior art major, from Bridgewater, Va., is serving as the student leader for the group.

lora is making her third Habitat trip. She has participated in Spring Break Collegiate Challenges in Athens, Ala., and Tucker, Ga.

“The trip allows the club members to learn many new skills, including painting, using power tools, caulking, building decks, putting up siding, roofing and pouring concrete,” Flora said, “which will be useful for the rest of their lives.”

Flora said that one of the best and most rewarding parts of the experience for her is working alongside the family who will soon live in the house being built.

 “I get to see the joy and dedication they have and that always makes the long workdays worth it,” she said.

The BC Campus Chapter, 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 25th 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 41st year, Habitat for Humanity International is a non-profit, 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.

In addition to Flora, Bridgewater College students making the trip are:

Ymonee Fountain, a freshman biology major, from Disputanta, Va.;

Sarah Frye, a senior biology major, from Strasburg, Va.;

Tim Gacquin, a senior English and history double major, from Williamsport, Md.;

Laurel Glover, a sophomore biology major, from Ellicott City, Md.;

Nino Matkava, a junior political science major, from Charlottesville, Va.;

Cody L. Noblitt, a senior environmental science major, from Waverly, Va.;

Maddison Teasley, a junior business administration major, from Timberlake, N.C.; and

Lissette Yeargain, a junior history and political science major, from Havre de Grace, Md.

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