Inside Rensselaer
*

*
*

Focus on:
Habitat for Humanity Spring Break in Virginia


Several community service-minded students from Rensselaer spent their spring break swinging hammers at a Habitat for Humanity project in Virginia. More than 10 members of Rensselaer’s chapter of the Habitat for Humanity International organization participated in the annual Collegiate Challenge. The group worked alongside local volunteers, college students from an Ohio chapter, and the future homeowners themselves to construct energy-efficient houses in the town of Exmore, which is located along the eastern shore of Virginia.

“The Habitat trip to Exmore, Virginia, was a great experience,” said Kyle Mattson, a junior who is a dual major in mechanical engineering and computer science. Mattson serves as president for the Rensselaer chapter of Habitat for Humanity and has been a member of the organization since his freshman year.

“We got to interact with hard-working families in the area and with a group from a college in Ohio,” Mattson added. “On the last day, it was really exciting to see all of our work accumulate in front of our very eyes. Our trip was topped off when we happened to run into an RPI alum at the YMCA where we took our showers. He gave us a different perspective on the area and was fascinating to listen to.”

Started in 1989, Collegiate Challenge is Habitat for Humanity’s year-round alternative break program that provides opportunities for students from youth groups, high schools, and colleges to spend a week of their school break building homes in partnership with a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the United States. The program is coordinated through the Collegiate Challenge Team at Habitat for Humanity International in Americus, Ga. Since its inception, some 166,000 young people have contributed more than $15.5 million and countless hours to Habitat’s mission of providing simple, decent, affordable housing to people who need it.

“I was amazed by the initiative shown by students and volunteers who came to work with us to help the area develop,” said Jis Ben, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. “Exmore is a region that is so sparsely populated, and in need of affordable new homes for many of the residents. During our dinner with local residents and future benefactors of these houses, you could see the joy on the faces of the Habitat families, and this proved to us that every bead of sweat on our backs had a purpose.”

In addition to participating in the annual Collegiate Challenge, the Rensselaer Habitat for Humanity Chapter continues to support the local community. The group has worked on multiple sites in the City of Troy, and in Rensselaer and Albany counties. They also fully sponsored and built a home in the City of Troy. The chapter also built a home on the corner of 11th and Hutton streets in Troy in partnership with Rensselaer County Habitat for Humanity, and made a $10,000 donation to support the project. Beyond building homes, members of the organization also carve out time to support campus and local events.
* * *
*
*
Send comments to:
Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
1000 Troy Building, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, N.Y. 12180 or to leibat@rpi.edu.
*
Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 7, April 16, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Front Page
*
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | About RPI | Virtual Campus Tour | Academics | Research | Student Life | Admissions | News & Events