SUNY Oswego Students Build a New Home in Alabama

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Group of Oswego State students in Florence, Alabama taking part in Habitat for Humanity By: Samantha Schou

A group of Oswego State students opted out of a traditional spring break of sand and sunny beaches for something that requires a little more hard work. The Alternative Spring Break Program at Oswego State sent a group of students to Florence, Alabama to take part in Habitat for Humanity.

Students were able to take part in building someone a new home. They were able to learn the process of assembling a home from building, sawing, cutting, siding, and roofing. Many students had little to no experience with building and were new to the Alternative Spring Break Program.

Jackie Giotta, a junior at Oswego State, enjoyed siding the house the most. She felt a sense of accomplishment and pride at the end of the week when the siding was completed.

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The house students worked on in Florence, Alabama By: Samantha Schou

“I loved siding, it was super easy and fun because you just worked and the process was simple,” Giotta said. “Then at the end of the week the siding was basically on all sides of the house. It was just cool to see that entire process because it was all me basically.”

Students were able to take away a lot more from this experience than just building a house. Many of them, like Samantha Schou, a junior at Oswego State, felt this trip was something out of their comfort zone. By putting themselves out there they ended up learning a lot about themselves.

“It definitely put me out of my comfort zone not knowing anybody going down there and then spending a week with them every minute of the day so I definitely gained confidence and personable skills,” Schou said.

Most students don’t know each other beforehand, they are assigned a location based on their preferences. Students only meet a couple of times with their group before they go on their trip, which can be intimidating to many students.

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Progress of what the group of Oswego State students helped accomplish in Florence, Alabama. By: Samantha Schou


“It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the people or who you are going with,” Giotta said. “You’ll get to know them, you’ll bond with them and by the time you leave you will be a family.”

Oswego State’s Alternative Spring Break Program allows students to do something untraditional. Many of them found that helping others can teach you a lot about yourself.