Carrboro Commons

Carrboro High School students help out Habitat

Posted on February 3rd, 2011 in Growth and development,School news by jock

By Megan Walker
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

What can get high school students up and out of the house before 8:15 a.m. on a Saturday? For some Carrboro High School students, the answer is building a Habitat for Humanity house.

(L to R) Hana Haidar, Lilly Yuan, Sofia Blanco, Matt Cooper and Jaycee Greenblatt pose for a picture on the steps of the Habitat house they helped construct on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 in Chapel Hill. They put in the sub-flooring on the Aye family's future home. Haidar, Yuan, and Blanco are students in the Habitat club at Carrboro High School. Cooper is their faculty adviser. Staff photo by Megan Walker

On Jan. 29, students Hana Haidar, Sofia Blanco and Lilly Yuan, along with their Habitat club advisor Matt Cooper, put in sub-flooring on the Aye family’s future home. The house will be at 209 Lizzie Lane in the Phoenix Place neighborhood of Chapel Hill.

“I joined the club when I was a freshman,” club co-president Haidar said. “I wanted to feel like I was actually doing something even though I was just 15. I just love building.”

Haidar said the Carrboro High School club is a building partner with Kenan-Flagler Business School on the university’s Build a Block campaign to build 10 houses in 10 months. The club is also partnering with Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill high schools to fund a tri-high school Habitat house.

“Having students help spreads awareness of the issues,” said Jaycee Greenblatt, development coordinator for Habitat youth programs. “It’s exciting to have them on site to work with the families and see how communities are coming together as a group to help change substandard housing in Chapel Hill. It is so expensive to live in the area. We want to make the housing situation more affordable for families.”

When the home that the students worked on is completed later this year, it will go to Zaw Aye, a refugee from Myanmar (formerly Burma), and his family. Aye said he was excited to be able to have a home for his family. They currently live in an apartment.

Zaw Aye, a refugee from Myanmar (formerly Burma), works to put in the sub-flooring on what will be a Habitat home for his family. Staff photo by Megan Walker

The Ayes have put in over 136 sweat-equity hours toward their new home. Once they have earned 325 hours and their home is complete, they will be homeowners with a zero-interest mortgage of $72,500.

Greenblatt said Habitat will probably continue working in Phoenix Place for the next few years. The neighborhood will eventually have 50 green-certified homes. Sixteen have been completed so far, and seven are being built this spring. The neighborhood also has a park and a community garden.

“It started off as something just to put on my college applications, but I really enjoy it now and think it’s a great cause,” said club secretary Yuan. “People at our school live in Habitat houses. I really like Habitat and just want to stay involved forever.”

Club members, who come to build several times a semester, have held a bake sale and a Halloween dance this school year to raise money for the high school house fund.

“Members of the community can help by supporting the high schools and their fundraising activities,” said Greenblatt. The schools are planning to hold a concert on Feb. 26 that will raise money for the tri-high school fund. Carrboro High School will have an improv group, a step team and possibly a jazz group at the concert, which will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at East Chapel Hill High School.

Greenblatt said community members could also help by donating directly to Habitat or coming out to volunteer on the build sites.

“Everyone has something to give back, and building has always been my passion,” said Cooper. “It has been my way of giving back to the community.”

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  1. on February 10th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by laurahoxworth, carrborocommons. carrborocommons said: Carrboro High School students help out Habitat: @uncbuildablock [...]

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