Posted on April 7th, 2015 in Perspectives on Leadership by Jan Bilgen

This week one of our own interns in the Student Involvement Office decided to write a post. Hope Schmidt, who is the Community Service Intern, wrote about her spring break experience with Habitat for Humanity, and how it helped foster leadership skills.

“Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.”

This year, our Habitat for Humanity campus chapter (consisting of: 49 students, 3 advisors, and 1 bus driver) went to Raleigh, North Carolina for the 2015 spring break Collegiate Challenge.

Sure, I know what you’re thinking-staying up all night, sleeping in and laying on the beach all day sound like amazing aspects of spring break, but doesn’t building homes for those who need them sound much more rewarding than a golden tan?

We departed from UW-Whitewater at 7pm on 3/21 and arrived at Hayes-Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina by 3pm on 3/22.  On Monday, we spent the day enjoying the ocean and beach culture at Wrightsville Beach near Wilmington, N.C. Then, on Tuesday, we got put to work! For the next five days, we would collaborate with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, N.C., building and repairing homes.

You might be thinking…”How am I supposed to know how to use a power tool?’ or, “I have NO experience in construction,” but, I was thinking the same exact things! The amazing part about Habitat for Humanity is that you can come onto a work site with no experience and you are immediately put to work regardless (safely, of course!). All of the staff and other returning volunteers were very friendly and accommodating for those who needed the assistance.

Besides donating your time and energy to something bigger than you, you have the opportunity to build upon leadership skills! The time spent working with others and collaborating with other Habitat for Humanity chapters is all valuable and provides you with skills needed to succeed in becoming a stronger leader.

If you are interested in learning about what it takes to build a home from the foundation up, making new friendships, and traveling for spring break, I HIGHLY recommend becoming a part of Habitat for Humanity and participating in their 2016 collegiate challenge spring break! Who knows, you may find your knew favorite passion is construction!

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