Published: April 8, 2006

Today, a group of students from Professor Amy Schmitz’s “Humanizing Contracts” service learning seminar, along with other volunteers from the Law School, worked on building a Habitat for Humanity home as part of the “Better Boulder—Better World” initiative.  This initiative was geared towards sparking outreach and community service among Colorado Law students.  The CU Law students spent a full day getting their hands dirty for a good cause.  Students measured, cut, and hung dry wall, drilled and nailed boards, and planted trees in the Emerald Hill Habitat housing complex, a part of Flatirons Habitat for Humanity.  Despite pre-finals pressure, the students took this time to join AmeriCorps and other community volunteers in working on fourteen homes for local families in need of affordable housing.  The experience was rewarding because it not only taught the students about outreach, but also about teamwork.   A month earlier, the student volunteers from Professor Schmitz’s service learning class had presented an educational seminar to current and future owners of Habitat for Humanity homes in this housing complex.  It was great for the students to realize that they were building homes for a real people.  Signs in front of the houses with names of the future owners inspired students to work hard all day and feel a sense of accomplishment.  Knowing that this land would not go to waste was a great feeling and gave students a sense of perspective and appreciation for Habitat for Humanity.  Seeing the children playing on a swing-set outside the homes reassured students that this process works, and by volunteering, they were truly making a difference.    Further, the student volunteers able to meet other volunteers and learn about their experiences.  It was great to see people volunteer out of the goodness of their hearts and gave all the students a sense of camaraderie.  Students were particularly impressed by the Habitat for Humanity organization.  The Habitat leaders were patient and excellent teachers, and seeing how Habitat successfully operates as a non-profit inspired students’ curiosity in pursuing other non-profit and outreach opportunities.  Moreover, the students now plan to continue volunteering on Habitat for Humanity builds.   Overall, the students worked hard, but more importantly, had fun.    “In thinking about what you put in and what you get out this experience, I felt like I really took away a lot from this experience...Now, I know how to hang dry wall!”   -Janel (2L)“We had a lot of was a great bonding experience for all of us.”   -Julia (2L)“While civic duty is a lot of work, it’s an incredibly rewarding experience”   -Maureen (2L)“It was really cool to contribute to an established organization and learn how a non-profit works.  It made us want to learn more about non-profits and how they work.  It’s amazing how the process works.”   -Katie, Maureen, Julia  (2Ls)