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  • Writer's pictureJACOB LUSTIG & MIKAYLA BOKIS

CCBL teams up with Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston to address housing security

Volunteers from Lasell University pictured with Habitat for Humanity staff in front of their housing project. Photo courtesy of Byrd Hughes.

This spring break, the Center of Community-Based Learning (CCBL) hosted an Alternative Spring Break Lite Experience. The CCBL partnered with Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston to address the issue of housing security through a home-build. This gave students an opportunity to partake in a day-long immersive service project within our local communities. These day-long immersive service projects took place on Wednesday, March 13th and Thursday, March 14th from 8:00am to 8:00pm. It was free of charge and food and transportation was provided for students.

Criminal Justice and Legal Studies major Vanessa Ardai was one of the students who had the opportunity to partake in this immersive experience. Ardai spoke about why she did it and why it was so important to her. “I enjoy hands-on learning and have helped my father with bits and pieces of building stuff over the years,” Ardai says. “I thought I would enjoy it and believe it is nice to help people who need help with affordable housing”. In addition, Ardai found out the project was taking place in her hometown, after she had signed up. 

During this experience, the students were taught how to use different tools and materials to build a house along with what it takes to put it all together and create a house. “I learned about using a saw to cut siding, how to carry and hang siding, and how teamwork is needed for construction due to the length of pieces,” Ardai adds. Not only did Ardai learn about the materialistic ways to build a house, she also learned how many people are needed to work together to create a project like this. In addition, Ardai says, “I enjoyed getting to know new people and was pleasantly surprised when the mayor of the city where the habitat house is stopped by to visit.”

Vanessa Ardai carries a piece of wood being used for the project. Photo courtesy of Byrd Hughes.

Another student that was given this opportunity was photojournalism major, Taya Eliza-Monae Brown. “Being a part of campus has gifted me the opportunity to be one with my community and meet new people,” Brown says. “My favorite thing about this trip was making an intention for service and dedicating it to the next person.” 

Brown discusses her love for helping out her community and in addition her love for photojournalism. She was able to take pictures and put them together to create a video for content creation. “I filed the photographs from the day and made a video for content creation and I’m grateful enough I was able to have a chance to explore the world of habitat humanity,” Brown says. “Especially the people working, there was a site full of helping hands and patient individuals who spent time mentoring us and kept us motivated to build until the end.”

This project gave the students the opportunity to meet new people and understand their reasons behind wanting to provide their own service to the community. Brown adds, “Whatever cause each person had been doing their service for, I’m so proud of the outcome. My cause was in support of people who need these homes most.” Brown discusses how important it is to help others because you never know when you may need a helping hand. She says, “I’m grateful to community-based learning for finding ways of putting forth community work and building outside our own community of Lasell University.”

If you are looking for ways to help this community and surrounding communities, reach out to the Center of Community-Based Learning for more information. 


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