Past Features

May 19, 2008 (Vol. 7, No. 9)

Lehman Students Volunteer at Home and Abroad

Habitat for Humanity Staff Leader Bryan Hilario, Lehman students Shannon Kingston and Willa Ivory; Amanda Dubois, coordinator for Lehman's Community Service/Service-Learning and New Student Programs; students Alisia Cordero, Ismery Lora, Jeanette Rosado, and AmeriCorps/Habitat Staff member; student Letricia Brown and Lehman Professor Gail Perry-Ryder.
(l.-r., starting at the top) Habitat for Humanity Staff Leader Bryan Hilario, Lehman students Shannon Kingston and Willa Ivory; Amanda Dubois, coordinator for Lehman's Community Service/Service-Learning and New Student Programs; students Alisia Cordero, Ismery Lora, Jeanette Rosado, and AmeriCorps/Habitat Staff member; student Letricia Brown and Lehman Professor Gail Perry-Ryder.

More than two dozen students from Leaders Involved for Everyone (LIFE) at Lehman College will be honored for their work, ranging from rebuilding homes in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina to fixing up a recycling center in the Costa Rican rainforest.

The students' community-service contributions during Spring Break 2008 will be recognized at the College's Civic Engagement Recognition Day, Wednesday, May 21, at 6 p.m. in the East Dining Room.

In New Orleans, one group of Lehman LIFE students spent a week with Habitat for Humanity, building the frame, roof, and windows of one house, while another group constructed planters, laid down soil, and improved the interior of the house.

"In essence, one group created a house from a simple frame, and the other made a house a home," said Amanda J. Dubois, Lehman's coordinator for Community Service/Service-Learning and New Student Programs. This was the second year in a row Lehman students traveled to New Orleans to lend a hand.

Jenny Ortiz and Kate Greenberg shovel dirt and sand as the first step in mixing cement for a new foundation for a recyling center in Costa Rica.
Jenny Ortiz (l.) and Kate Greenberg shovel dirt and sand as the first step in mixing cement for a new foundation for a recyling center in Costa Rica.

While those students were helping ease the transition for displaced residents of the Big Easy, another group worked to improve the quality of life for those living in the small rainforest community of El Sur de Turrabares, Costa Rica.

Among their tasks were digging huge holes to place support beams for a new aluminum roof to protect the recycling center from the frequent rain; mixing cement for a new foundation; and painting cement blocks both to improve the Center's appearance and to clarify which materials should be placed in each of its sections.

"Recycling is not only an environmentally pertinent task, but the residents of El Sur are also able to profit financially from this effort to support their small town," said Kate Greenberg, director of Wellness and Health Education at Lehman's Student Health Center, who accompanied the students on the trip.

Lehman students are also helping out closer to home. This semester, students volunteered at Sistas and Brothas United, Free Arts NYC, and Trinity Episcopal Church of Morrisania.