Sanborn Students Reach Out

The following blog entry was written by Candice DeAngelis, Spanish teacher and National Honor Society advisor for SRHS:

How did you spend your February vacation?

Over the past February vacation, I (Spanish teacher and NHS advisor, Candice DeAngelis) spent the week with 16 Sanborn National Honor Society (NHS) seniors and 4 parents building townhouses for Habitat for Humanity. Together we drove 13 hours to a very rural Pendleton County in West Virginia where we stayed at a community center in Cherry Grove, West Virginia. Pendleton County is one of the only non-mining counties in West Virginia, making it one of the most impoverished parts of the United States. Located in the heart of Appalachia the students, parents and I learned about construction, the county as well as ourselves.
During our trip we worked with another group from Trent University, located in Canada and together, Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm worked on the inner and outer construction of townhouses. The concept for these buildings has been well thought out and has been leading to a movement within Habitat for Humanity. The idea is that the center unit, that has three bedrooms, is for a family and the outer 2 units are lofts for either an elderly person/couple or a disabled person. The intention is that the center unit family will be available to help the outer unit owners so that they are not alone and are given the assistance that they need.

On the Wednesday evening of our trip, along with Trent University, we hosted a Community Dinner for the families and people who are currently living in the units. During that dinner we heard from Mr. Jesson, who was a Korean War Veteran, who prior to his Habitat home was homeless. We also heard from a woman named Charity, a mother of 2 who was living in to-be condemned trailer, which has been torn down due to unlivable conditions. During that dinner we learned that Habitat, specifically, Almost Heaven for Habitat (the affiliate we were working with) and their working with the US Government to provide housing for homeless veterans.
While on the worksite I could not have been more proud of the Sanborn students. The managers on-site, Joe, Jerry, Jay and the beloved Lester, told me on many occasions that our students were some of the best workers that they have ever had. They were impressed by their drive and desire to help the families. Watching the 16 students work was simply amazing, they did everything from clean up, gravel transport, painting, molding, flooring prep and drilling on a scaffold. Their maturity and competence was more than I could ever ask for and the surely represented the Sanborn Community with pride and accomplishment.

To the parents, Lisa Peterson, Kristin Cartier, Ilene Hallisey and Michele Fitzgerald, you were phenomenal and I could never have run this trip without your help.

To the parents who helped in the planning process, did the shopping and prepared meals for us, thank you so much!

To my students, Tavish Forsyth, Sonja Pietrasz, Jordann Johnson, Heather Zukas, Angela Zukas, Eddie Esposito, Ben Giorgi, Lauren Bartlett, Haley O’Callaghan, Courtney Peterson, Alexis Nault, Meghan Keeley, Jess King, Cecilia Kruger, Emily Fitzgerald and Katie Hamor, I have never been more proud of you and thank you for making this February break one that I know I will always remember and for changing the world.

Finally to the school officials, staff and Sanborn community, thank you for your support in bringing these students and parents to West Virginia. Please stay tuned for a dinner where we will be presenting pictures and our experience in late March, early April.


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