A group of 15 architectural engineering students at the University of Colorado at Boulder are planning to spend their spring break helping build homes for low-income families in Oakley, Calif.
The project was arranged by the CU-Boulder student chapter of the Architectural Engineering Institute as part of Habitat for Humanity's nationwide Collegiate Challenge program, which encourages college students to do community service by providing a list of local chapters looking for help. The students will be working with the Mt. Diablo chapter of Habitat for Humanity in Concord, Calif.
"It was a goal of mine to get involved with a humanitarian organization that relates to the building profession," said Megan Christen, a junior in architectural engineering and vice president of the AEI student chapter. "We will be helping people in the (San Francisco) Bay Area where there is a huge need for affordable housing, and it will also be good hands-on experience for students."
AEI is a student organization in the College of Engineering and Applied Science that invites guest speakers from the building industry to talk to students, visits local building projects and performs community service.
Christen said the group selected the California project because it was within a reasonable driving distance and would allow students to visit an interesting place over spring break.
The students will leave on March 19 or 20 and work on the Habitat project from March 22 through March 26. Habitat for Humanity will provide unfurnished apartment-style housing for them while they are in Concord. The group has received funding from the civil, environmental and architectural engineering department, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and Merrick & Co. of Denver to help cover their transportation and insurance costs.
"I am so pleased that these students have initiated this project, and I'm proud of them for sacrificing their spring break in order to serve others," said Bob Davis, senior instructor in architectural engineering and faculty adviser to the AEI group. "We hope that this will serve as the first of many similar projects in the coming years."
For more information about Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge program visit http://www.habitat.org/ccyp/cc.html.