More than 20 Alfred State students opted to spend their spring breaks in mid-March helping others in need.
From March 13-19, a group of 13 students worked alongside Horry County Habitat for Humanity in Myrtle Beach, SC, assisting in the ReStore thrift store and helping a family to build a new home.
Technology Services Help Desk Coordinator Krystal Perlman, who volunteered in South Carolina along with the students, said some of the thrift store projects on the first day included pricing items to be set up on the sales floor, organizing storage rooms, and painting the staff lounge.
The remaining days, the volunteers worked on site building the house from the foundation up with the construction manager and the home owner, Shaniqua Evans. The college’s baseball team, who was playing in a tournament in Myrtle Beach that week, also spent a few hours to help at the ReStore location.
Students who volunteered in Myrtle Beach include Alex Cohen, building trades: building construction, Rochester; Ashley Kennedy, human services management, Troupsburg; Robert Mahany, construction management engineering technology, Orchard Park; Brittany Richards, forensic science technology, Piffard; Bryan Guild, business administration, Cameron Mills; Christopher McCormick, cyber security, Henderson, NV; Elizabeth Hart, technology management, Wellsville; Joshua Pincoski, autobody repair, Holland; Katie Monica, forensic science technology, Syracuse; Lacee Hill, forensic science technology, Friendship; Larissia Hall, liberal arts and sciences: adolescent education-teacher education transfer, Keuka Park; Mary Rose Ricotta, forensic science technology, Derby; and Michaela Olin, nursing, Perry.
This is the fourth year of an ongoing partnership between the college and Habitat for Humanity. Perlman said the recent project was a wonderful opportunity for Alfred State students because of it being so multifaceted.
“The students who participated were able to learn real-world skills while helping to create affordable housing for residents of Horry County, SC,” she said. “The students spent time working side by side with Shaniqua, and they all got a chance to hear her story and how much this opportunity means to her. I firmly believe that it is these types of experiences that cannot not be replicated in a classroom and are what help create a well-rounded Alfred State education.”
Volunteering in New Orleans from March 14-18 was a team of eight students, who worked alongside Anna’s Place/St. Anna’s Episcopal Church to provide support to an after-school children’s arts program and to help with other ongoing initiatives. The group worked at both the church and the Dodwell House, which Alfred State Semester in the South students have been renovating into a community center.
Students who assisted in New Orleans were Heather Cromwell, technology management, Lockport; Lauren Vasco, veterinary technology, Knoxville, PA; Kaitlin Johnson, technology management, Stockton; Allison Dinwoodie, forensic science technology, Hornell; Makenzie Riley, interior design, Schenectady; Cassandra Ryan, mechanical engineering technology, Gloversville; Eric Hulbert, network administration, Mexico, NY; and Annaliese Corrao, nursing, Grand Island.
Sean McCarthy, residence hall director of MacKenzie East, who accompanied the students, said the group helped the after-school children build their own wetlands to plant and grow food, work on a community garden, and they also explained the importance of eating a balanced diet. The Alfred State students also taught the children about the various programs they are taking, such as forensic science technology and veterinary technology.
McCarthy said everyone had a great experience overall and noted that the community was appreciative of the students’ efforts.
“When people passed by, they asked about the work and thanked us for our service,” he said. “We were even able to get a member of a group that had just arrived in town for a bachelor party to put his plans on hold and help out for a bit. I feel like the best thing we did for the younger students was just being there for them, listening to what they had to say, and helping them in any way we could.”