SUNY Oswego students provide service through alternative spring breaks

Student volunteers gather in front of the Habitat for Humanity trailer. Photo by: Jennifer Joyce

OSWEGO, N.Y. — Four SUNY Oswego students partnered with local agencies during their week-long break to provide meaningful service to a variety of nonprofit organizations in the Oswego community. 

Saturnin Kpadea, a junior at the university, has volunteered twice already in hopes of giving back to the community he has called home for the past three years.

“My mom taught me to give back to the community and it has stuck with me my entire life,” Kpadea said. “So I try to help out whenever I can and I’m just glad that it’s something she instilled in me.”

Kpadea volunteered alongside first-time volunteers, Te’Zariah Hazell and Xin Lui.

On Monday and Tuesday, the group partnered with SUNY Oswego’s Office of Sustainability and assisted with sap collecting and removal of invasive species that harm the environment. 

On Wednesday, the group painted a bedroom in a residential home with Oswego County Opportunities.

Hazell, a first-time volunteer, said giving back makes her feel good inside. 

“I’m getting the satisfaction of helping people,” Hazell said. Seeing everyone smile from a job well done…there’s no better feeling than that.” 

Thursday, the group partnered with Habitat for Humanity and painted pantry boxes, which were later placed in various areas throughout town. The boxes offer residents non-perishable food items, toiletries and household items.

The students concluded their week-long break with a neighborhood cleanup.

AmeriCorps volunteer, Rachel Hendricks was pleased to work alongside student volunteers during the week.

“I think it’s very cool to get to know you all and hear all of your stories and know what you’re coming to school for,” Hendricks said.