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Students to Swing Hammers During Spring Break

Smith students will join more than 12,000 fellow spring breakers from across the country participating in Habitat for Humanity’s “Collegiate Challenge.”

During the week of March 15 through 24, Smith students will work alongside other volunteers and Habitat homeowners in New Orleans to build simple, decent and affordable Habitat for Humanity houses. Summing up an academic year of participating in various local builds and hosting numerous fundraisers, the “Collegiate Challenge” in New Orleans is a highlight for Smith Habitat for Humanity Chapter members.

“While many of their peers are relaxing these students are putting in hundreds of hours of hard work during Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge,” said Alynn Woodson, Associate Director of Habitat’s Youth Programs department. “By the end of the week, not only have the students learned how to build a house, they’ve also seen how their actions can help improve people’s lives by providing safe, affordable shelter through a Habitat for Humanity home.”

More than 12,000 students have signed up to help build homes in 210 locations as part of this year’s Collegiate Challenge program. The program offers high school and college-age students year-round opportunities to use their vacations to serve a community by volunteering to build homes.  

“I feel fortunate that I will be able to help with the redevelopment of the city working in partnership with victims of Hurricane Katrina,” said Vanessa Shea ’10, a member of the Smith chapter. “Also, it will be an incredible opportunity to be able to work with students from all over the nation through the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in New Orleans. Certainly it will be a very enriching and unique experience that will contribute to the empowerment of people affected by the devastation.”

Throughout its 19-year history, more than 155,000 students have traveled to build Habitat houses through Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge program. During this time, students raised more than $14.6 million to pay for construction. This year alone, Collegiate Challenge students will contribute $1.5 million to help build houses.  

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 250,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit

For more information, or to make a donation for Smith’s Habitat for Humanity spring break trip, send an email to Vanessa Shea,


3/12/08   Habitat for Humanity-Smith chapter press release
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