Students and Staff Dedicate Spring Break to Building Homes with Habitat for Humanity

Published: March 08, 2024 | Author: Summer Frandsen | Read Time: 2 minutes

Students group together for a selfie in front of a partially built house frame

Southern Utah University students and employees embarked on a transformative journey during their spring break, as they joined forces with Habitat for Humanity in Sumter, South Carolina, to build homes for families in need.

Pam Branin, director of the Community Engagement Center, alongside Jessica Walker, a recent nursing graduate and student trip leader, accompanied eight students and one staff member to South Carolina during SUU’s spring break in the last week of February. Participants included Addisyn Mikkelson, human nutrition major, Amy Adams, elementary education major, Ashley Cahoon, human nutrition major, Bailey Jeppesen, nursing major, Easton Bowring, student success advisor, Jazlyn Chandler, exercise science major, Katelyn Weeks, agriculture major, Kylee Cahoon, management major, and Taylar Johnson, sociology major.

“Community experiences are so important and formative for SUU students,” said Branin. “While there are no classes on how to be a good community member, every student, regardless of major, GPA, or activities at SUU, is and will be a community member somewhere. Developing habits of being an active, contributing community member now is a win for students and the organizations we partner with.”

Throughout the week-long project, participants honed their construction skills and cultivated invaluable personal growth. From learning how to build the framework of a house to navigating through challenges with patience and perseverance, the SUU volunteers embraced the spirit of service and teamwork.

"The people in South Carolina were so kind and hospitable,” said Mikkelson. “People are incredible, and there is so much you can learn from others who have had different life experiences while creating something together.”

The SUU Community Engagement Center is a vibrant hub dedicated to fostering service, compassion, and community within the university. The Center coordinates diverse initiatives, ranging from service trips with national and global partners to local after-school programming for community youth, to on-campus activities like blanket tying and food drives. With a commitment to both local and global impact, the programs empower students, faculty and staff to address pressing needs, creating connections and a culture of responsibility. Volunteering provides hands-on real-world learning experiences; creates connections between students, SUU employees, and community members; relieves stress; provides resume quality opportunities; and helps address unmet community needs. Join us in making a positive difference, whether you're passionate about global initiatives or making an impact closer to home.

Visit the Community Engagement Center website for more information about service opportunities through SUU.

Tags: Student Life Community

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Nikki Koontz