Habitat frames a home in one day

Published 4:25 pm Thursday, November 30, 2006

In one day Habitat for Humanity has framed the new home of one lucky eligible family with help provided by the Youth Build Charter School.

Three students from the Philadelphia chapter of Youth Build Charter School helped in the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home on South Haugh in Picayune, said Dan Mickelson an instructor with Youth Build Charter School in Philadelphia. Mickelson said when he and the three students, one of six groups working in the area, will have helped with the construction of the home for two days when they move to another Katrina rebuild project on Wednesday.

The Youth Build Charter School in Philadelphia helps young adults get their diploma while teaching them hands on lessons in alternating six week increments. During the first set of the six week session one group of students will focus on the academic side while another group will focus on the hands on side, Mickelson said. Students are allowed the opportunity to get hands on experience by doing all the work themselves, Mickelson said.

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“It’s kind of like a huge crash course in construction,” Mickelson said.

The program could also teach students about technology or nursing according to http://www.youthbuildphilly.org/program.html. The academic side of the program focuses on math, reading and writing and can cater to students with above or below average learning needs, Mickelson said.

When students complete the program successfully they will receive their diploma not a GED, Mickelson said.

One student who has been in the program since August of this year, Shardell Martin, said before she came to Mississippi to help with the rebuilding effort after she helped to gut and remodel a home in Pennsylvania.

“It’s always good when opportunities come knocking to take advantage of it,” Martin said.

Students selected for the trip to Mississippi were based on their ability and dedication.

“She is one of the hardest workers on a construction site, that’s why she got picked to come down here,” Mickelson said about Martin.

When Martin finishes the program she said she plans to attend the Art Institute of Philadelphia for Interior Design.

Students in the Youth Build Charter School came from all over the United States, Chris Parks of Brocton Mass said he will be here until Christmas when he will get to go home. Until then he is happy to be part of something that helps people.

“I wanted to be part of the rebuilding process so I could help people get their lives back,” Parks said.

By Wednesday afternoon the frame of the house was all but finished, since most of the home was pre-built off site.