As part of the Pre-Orientation Adventure Program, 16 students will spend their last week of summer building a Habitat for Humanity home for a family in Geneva. Three student guides, Stephen Wolff ‘12, Taylor Mockler ‘12 and Faith James ’13 will lead the program, which the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning has organized in partnership with the Ontario County Habitat chapter.
The four-day program seeks to introduce a group of civically-engaged, first-year students to the city of Geneva and each other. Two years ago, trip leaders Mockler and James were part of the initial program, and they are excited to help construct another home in Geneva.
“We want the incoming students to get a sense of confidence out of this program. We want them to be familiar with the campus, already have a group of friends, and feel good about the fact they are able to give back to the community,” James says.
Mockler hopes to connect with many of the new students as well. “I want the new students to know they have an older peer to ask questions of during their first year on campus,” Mockler says.
Wolff agrees. “I want them to become integrated and connected with the community, and hopefully get a rewarding experience.”
Additionally, the group will “camp out” in the same residence hall and cook meals together. Student guides will offer daily reflection exercises, discussing motivations for and future pathways into community service.
The program will run from Monday, Aug. 22 through Thursday, Aug. 25. The group will work at the Habitat site from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Other Habitat for Humanity volunteers have been diligently working on the foundation this summer. Next week is called Blitz Week, when they aim to complete the frame, roof, and install the windows.
“This program is a great opportunity for the incoming, first-year students to get to know each other in a small, welcoming group setting, as well as give back to the community where they will be spending their next four years. We hope to expand this program in future years so that we can have multiple trips across the City of Geneva and other parts of the Finger Lakes region,” says Jeremy Wattles, assistant director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.
The photo above was taken during the 2010 Habitat project.