Chesapeake students spend spring break on Habitat worksite
WYE MILLS - A group of Chesapeake College students headed west for Spring Break March 16- 22. Rather than flock to a beach with their contemporaries, these students used their time off to work on a Habitat for Humanity project in Kentucky.
Director of Student Life Rohry Flood and Associate Professor John Haas took eight Chesapeake students on a week-long working trip, the Chesapeake College Alternative Spring Break, to Louisville, Ky.
Prior to their Louisville trip, the group worked on a local Habitat project in Easton. Flood said the prep work gives the students a chance to learn some construction skills and make a local contribution.
In Louisville, the students worked on several different construction tasks. They worked 8 to 10 hours each day, and returned to a dormitory each night to eat and sleep.
Early Childhood Education major Nicole Forsman participated in the project for the first time this year. The Kent Island resident said she loves construction and working with her hands, and has an interest in Habitat for Humanity.
“This was a great opportunity to volunteer in a way that I could do something I have always dreamt about doing,” Forsman said. “I’m excited to take the skills and experience I’ve learned by going on the Kentucky trip to my future goal of helping with Habitat for Humanity.”
The experience also helped Forsman face her fear of heights.
“I had to climb to the top of a ladder and I do not like heights,” Forsman said. “It was wet and, at times, slippery. I surprised myself by going outside of my comfort zone.”
This was the seventh year that Flood has led the Alternative Spring Break service learning trip for Chesapeake students.
“This was one of the best trips we’ve done,” Flood said of the 2015 program. “The project was great and these students were so focused. They came ready to learn and help in every way.”
The group worked on two single-family homes in Louisville. Each unit will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, living room and a porch. Flood said the students worked alongside the families who will eventually live in the houses.
The students worked with a homeowner named Channing, which Forsman described as highlight of the trip. The new homeowner is a minister and full-time student pursing a bachelor’s degree in business. In addition, he is raising three daughters and works full time.
“It was amazing to see the amount of heart and drive Channing has to the best he can be,” said Forsman. “I just keep thinking how grateful I am to have this opportunity to not only help build a house, but to meet amazing people like Channing.”
The 2015 Alternative Spring Break participants were: Maddie Baynard, Michael Beverly, Rohry Flood, Nicole Forsman, John Haas, Danai Hynson, Caroline Jones, Megan Murphy, Sarah Redd, and Jon Ruiz.