Students Build Homes in West Virginia During Spring Break

by Diane VanDyke

Nineteen Montgomery County Community College students and staff members will travel to Franklin, West Virginia, on March17 to spend their spring break participating in 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 week building homes for Habitat for Humanity. The College’s students have participated in Alternative Spring Break for the past seven years.

During the weeklong program, students will help work on homes for families in Pendleton County. Through this volunteer experience, students meet new people, gain confidence from learning different skills and help others who are in need of housing. This year, MCCC students will be working and staying with students from Harvard University, MA; Manchester Community College, NH; and University of Illinois Urbana Champagne, IL.

“The ASB program gives MCCC students an extended opportunity over the College’s spring break to both build upon and apply their leadership skills with volunteer work performed on a national level,” said Assistant Director of Civic and Community Engagement Jenna Klaus, who organizes and leads the annual trip.

Participating students include: Merissa DiMino, Perkiomenville; Brigitta Good and Jessica Lowenstein, Abington; Harris Risell, Blue Bell; Tong (Abey) Xu and Alyssa Goodman, King of Prussia; Anh Nhu Quynh Nguyen, Vuong (Christy) Thach and Jeremiah Garcia, Hatfield; Kelly Tascarella, Fort Washington; Khoa Doan, Norristown; Danielle Cole, Horsham; Ryan Bergman, Worcester; Maggie Kanter, Boyertown; Dominic Dolenti, Royersford; Kevin Lee, Bala Cynwyd; Kristine Campbell, Pottstown; Iris Wang, Norristown; and Shanae Roberts, Limerick.

Klaus, who has participated in 10 alternative spring break trips throughout her career, will be joined by the Director of Annual Giving & Advancement Megan Sneeringer and Public Relations Coordinator Diane VanDyke, as well as West Chester University student leadership graduate intern Allyson Yacovett.

The students will update a blog with entries and photographs daily and tweet throughout the week. The blog can be viewed at, and you can follow the students on Twitter at

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