Greeley Area Habitat for Humanity (Habitat for Humanity) is known for providing shelter that transforms lives and helps to lift families out of the cycle of poverty. During the 2016- 2017 school year, the non-profit collaborated with Jefferson High School to offer participants in the school’s Construction Pathways Management Program a chance to build housing. This first-time collaboration was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Community Foundation’s Littler Youth Fund.
In addition to providing housing for a family in need, this partnership engaged students, showing them how their classroom experience could be used in a real-life situation. Their enjoyment of the work reduced the chances they would leave high school before receiving their diploma. Real-world, on-site engagement helped to develop life skills such as teamwork, dependability, work ethic, problem-solving ability, and adaptability.
In the context of its partnership, Habitat for Humanity changed its traditional build-day by adding a Lunch and Learn section to the experience. The new component was funded by existing sponsorship and volunteer programs and is designed as a time to allow students to get to know employees in sponsoring agencies.
The approach proved successful. During an ENGEN-sponsored luncheon, students talked with a wide range of oil and gas employees and listened as they asked questions about starting careers. At the end of the day, one of the students began having a conversation with some of ENGEN’s volunteers, a business card was passed, and the student walked away with the possibility for employment that exceeded her expectations she previously held for herself.
Grant that Funded the Program: The Littler Youth Fund
Funding Amount: $10,000
Program Timeframe: February 2016 to February 2017
- The program provided experience to 25 Jefferson High School students
- Students participated in the build from start to finish. This allowed them to apply geometry and other math principles from the classroom in a real-world setting. It also created knowledge and skill sets that will offer them employment opportunities in a sector where skilled employees are in high demand.
- The experience provided a home for a single mother with 5 children.
- Students were given in class instruction on the building process by their teacher and the Habitat Construction Director which then translated into the practical hands-on learning they experienced building on site at Habitat for Humanity’s new 14 home development, Crestview.
- The students received training and education on the CAD system for drawing and architectural understanding.
- A collaboration with AIMS Community College made possible dual enrollment for the students completing the CAD program and the mathematics course with the Construction Management Pathway Program. They received college credits upon completion of the program.