by Diane VanDyke
Sixteen Montgomery County Community College students and four faculty and staff members traveled to Amarillo, Texas, on March 11 for five days of service through Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge program.
The Collegiate Challenge program provides opportunities for groups of students to visit one of 250 host affiliates throughout the country to spend their spring break building homes for Habitat for Humanity. The College’s students have participated in Alternative Spring Break for the past six years.
During the weeklong program, students will trade their laptops and backpacks for hammers, paint brushes and saws to help work on homes for families in the Amarillo community. Through this volunteer experience, students meet new people, gain confidence from learning different skills and help others who are in need of housing.
“The ASB program allows students the opportunity to build upon their leadership skills and experience service for an extended period of time on a national level,” said Assistant Director of Civic and Community Engagement Jenna Klaus, who organizes and leads the annual trip. “This year’s trip has the College’s largest team ever, which is lending itself to having a more diverse group of student leaders with majors ranging from engineering to criminal justice.”
Participating students include: Nicole Weising, Danielle Kennell, Alysa Murray, Samantha Boatman and Sara Christ of Pottstown; Alyssa Spencer and Alyssa Goodman of King of Prussia; Kevin Knott, Upper Gwynedd; Morgan Hinkle, Collegeville; Anh Nhu Quynh Nguyen, Hatfield; Christopher Liston, Lansdale; Benjamin Brenner, Conshohocken; Kelly Tascarella, Fort Washington; Robert Karcher, Phoenixville; Christine Chiodo, Glenside; and Nicole Rutkowski, Birdsboro.
Klaus, who has participated in 10 alternative spring break trips throughout her career, will be joined by the French and Arabic Senior Lecturer Farida Ferradji, Director of Annual Giving & Advancement Megan Sneeringer and Public Relations Coordinator/Copy Writer Diane VanDyke.
VanDyke will be working with the students to update a blog with entries and photographs daily and to Tweet throughout the week. The blog can be viewed at http://mccc2012springbreak.wordpress.com, and tweets can be followed at http://twitter.com/mc3springbreak.