College students use spring break to give back to community

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LAWRENCE, Ind. (March 13, 2015) - College students are using their spring break to give back to the community. More than a dozen Alverno College students from Milwaukee spent the week in Lawrence rehabbing a house with Habitat for Humanity.

The project is part of the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge. Students painted, sanded and even ripped out carpeting in order to make an older home feel like new for a Lawrence family.

“We’ve really seen the house transform since we’ve been here because even those little things made big difference,” said Adrienne Salabert, a senior at Alverno College.

Most of the students have never done home improvement projects before. But, they said they are thrilled to lend a helping hand.

“I’ve always wanted to go out and do something like Habitat or something to help people,” said Gabrielle Lynn, a freshman at Alverno College. “It’s always been a very big interest for me. And so, as soon as I found out, I jumped on it.”

They started working on the house Monday. In just a matter of days, there was a lot of progress.

“We started out with this house that wasn’t really that great,” Lynn said. “Then, we painted it and it looked completely amazing.”

The future resident at the house, Hermelinda Nevarez, said she gets emotional when she thinks about the gift the students are giving her.

Students got the chance to interact with Nevarez and her daughter throughout the week.

“Having a house is so important,” Salabert said. “Everyone deserves to have a place to call home.”

Staff from Alverno College said they had to create a wait-list for the spring break service trip because so many students were interested in participating.

The group plans to head back to Milwaukee Friday afternoon. The Habitat home is scheduled to be ready for move-in next month.