College students spend spring break building homes through Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge

POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Dozens of college students will return to campus with a rewarding spring break experience thanks to Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge.

If this doesn’t seem like a typical spring break to you, you’re not alone, and these college students agree.

“Obviously, this is not how most people would want to spend their spring break,” said Fitchburg State University student Victoria Weisenhorn.

Almost 60 students from Fitchburg State University and the University of Pittsburgh chose to spend their spring break doing the Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge.

“Over 20 years, we’ve hosted 6,000 college students. They’ve built over 125 homes. They give up their spring break, if you can believe that, and pay for the privilege of working on other people’s homes,” said Habitat for Humanity of Broward County Chairman Robert Taylor.

The students worked on the Rick Case Habitat for Humanity Community in Pompano Beach.

“Right now, we’re roofing, so yesterday we started with the shingles, and hopefully we’ll be able to finish up shingling one house today and then work on more for the rest of the week,” said Weisenhorn.

When the community is completed in 2022, it will have 77 homes in total. So far, 12 have been completed this year.

“There are 77 families that will have homes when we’re done building here,” said Taylor. “These families weren’t given anything. They earned their way into these homes, they buy these homes, and they become homeowners for the first time.”

The students said spending their spring break doing something meaningful is an experience that will stay with them forever.

“Just seeing the little impact that you make in the house, whether it’s building the roof or doing flooring or some little thing that’s going to be in someone’s house, it’s going to be part of their livelihood for a significant portion of their life, and I just think that that’s a really amazing thing to be a part of,” said University of Pittsburgh student Melissa Lawrie.

“We are still enjoying our spring break just doing something different that makes a difference in the world,” added Weisenhorn. “It’s one of the best things that I’ve ever done.”

This first group of students will head back home at the end of the week.

An additional 28 students from two more schools will continue the work they started next week.

WSVN is a proud sponsor of Habitat for Humanity. For more information, follow the links below.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami

Habitat for Humanity of Broward County

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