03/24/06 — Students pick up hammers for Habitat

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Students pick up hammers for Habitat

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on March 24, 2006 1:45 PM

When Lorri Ingram moves into her Habitat for Humanity home on Stevens Street, it will be known as the house that college students built.

Naomi Dreyer and Simone Martell are heading up a work crew from Goucher College's Habitat for Humanity Club.

Miss Dreyer, 23, is originally from Boston, and this is the second year she and Miss Martell have led the club on building trips together. The club goes on three or four trips during each semester, she said.

Students working on Habitat house

News-Argus/Mitch Loeber

Bill Edgerton, left, instructs two Gaucher College students, Elliot Kramer and Amanda Grant-Mcauley, as they build supports for the roof of a Habitat For Humanity house being constructed in Goldsboro.

But most of the time, the students work on rehabilitating old apartment buildings in the inner city of Baltimore, where the college is located.

"The club has been active for years," Miss Dreyer said. "We have an adviser, but we do most of the work, coordinating and lining up transportation for the trips. This is a great group of kids. You get to know the kids you're in class with in a whole different way."

Miss Dreyer learned about the Habitat projects during her two years with the Americorps program.

The students earn tuition vouchers that amount to almost $5,000 a year, but each student is limited to just two years with Americorps.

"We take time out from college to do different types of community service," Miss Dreyer said. "When I came to Goucher, I wanted to stay involved, and I felt the Habitat club was a good way to do that."

The students are staying at the First Baptist Church in Goldsboro. Miss Dreyer said the community has been very welcoming. She added that the club is planning to sign up for a Wayne County project again next year.

Katie Huston at the Habitat office in Goldsboro came up with the idea to post Ms. Ingram's new home on the Web site, said Habitat Director Beth Parrish Wednesday afternoon.

"Katie is in her second year with Americorps, and she's spending the entire year with Habitat," said Ms. Parrish. "She's the first one we were able to keep for a whole year."

Mrs. Huston, 26, wears several hats at the Habitat office, including construction assistant, volunteer coordinator, family services and, now, public relations.

From Lancaster County, Pa., she did one year of Americorps work near Philadelphia and then met her husband, Zachary, who is in the Air Force.

She came to the Goldsboro Wayne County Habitat office and helped the affiliate develop its Web site.

Having previous experience with Collegiate Challenge, she signed up 55 volunteers from four colleges to come over a four-week period during their spring breaks.

The first group to come work on Ms. Ingram's house was from Ohio Wesleyan. Then came a group from Chestnut Hill at Philadelphia.

The Goucher College group is the third college crew. A fourth crew will arrive Sunday from Vermont Technical College.

Ms. Ingram's new home is a Youth United house, sponsored by two churches, St. Mary Catholic Church and Garris Chapel United Methodist Church.

Most of the young people at St. Mary and Garris are younger than the college crew, and they won't be coming out to assist until the work is safer, Miss Parrish said.

The college crew rises early and works from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the construction site. They will drive back home Saturday.

They will have been the closest crew to Goldsboro. The students from Vermont will have to drive 14 hours to reach Goldsboro. Mrs. Huston will greet them at the church around 10 p.m. Sunday, too late for the traditional visit to Wilber's Restaurant, the welcome to town.

Mrs. Houston will stay with the crew all week and then, on the following Saturday, they will go to Wilber's for a farewell and thank you dinner.