Building Memories and Impacting Lives with Habitat for Humanity

By Mrs. Margaret Price, Assistant Dean of Students for Multiculturalism, Leadership, and Student Programs

Ten Montverde Academy Upper School students volunteered for the Habitat for Humanity Youth Impact Build that took place from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Thursday, July 27, 2023. They painted the home of a family located in Clermont. The site managers, two long-time Habitat volunteers, began with a safety lesson of project rules outlined by the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA requires that volunteers must be age 18 or older in order to step higher than the second step on the ladder. The students also learned to check that the ladder is secure when working on uneven surfaces and procedures for flushing out their eyes with water if paint splatters into their face. After reviewing the safety rules, students were divided into groups of 3-4 to begin the exterior painting.

Barry Steward, a retired chemical engineer who enjoyed a 46-year career in the industry, was one of the site managers. Bill Krug, former Professor of Leadership at Purdue University, retired 21-year navy commander, and forestry major, was also a site manager who has volunteered with Habitat for over 10 years. Both Mr. Steward and Mr. Krug shared that they enjoyed working with students, hearing about our international school, and observing their great attitudes. They also shared the following tips:

  • It is Important to paint with care as if this were your own home.
  • Don’t drop paint on the driveway.
  • Prepare to get dirty.
  • Don’t step in the paint bins.
  • Painting is a great skill that comes in handy in life.
  • Paint from top to bottom so that paint does not drip on the freshly painted areas.
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand.
  • As you pursue your careers, always find time to help others.

Manuela Penha, a rising senior at MVA, said, “This experience was amazing. I got to meet new friends, and we all did something impactful together that will for sure be memorable.”