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Callie Etches, Darius Enoch, and April Tun experience the joy of service, teamwork, and hard work at MC’s Alternative Spring Break.

During spring break, three Hillmaners with huge hearts volunteered to travel with eight other MC students to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they worked with Habitat for Humanity to help with the construction of a new home. The project, organized by MC’s Rockville Student Life Office, encourages students to use their break productively and charitably in an alternative break experience. This year, Montgomery College sent ten students to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they rebuilt the homes of impoverished families.

Callie Etches, who attended along with April Tun and Darius Enoch, shared that through the experience, she “strengthened an array of professional skills. For example, I improved my leadership, public speaking, communication, and teamwork abilities. Although I utilized these skills at a construction site, I believe they could also be applied to my own professional and personal pursuits.”

Darius added, “From the very beginning, we were truly motivated and had an end goal of putting our best foot forward on the mission. From day one on the construction site, our team worked hard to help out as best we can as we had an end goal of completing as much volunteer work as we could.  Each day on the construction site taught me something new. At the beginning and end of each day we reflected on our world and how each of us can make a change in it. One key take-away from these deep reflective talks was making it a goal to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as I possibly can” in alignment with Habitat for Humanity’s goal to reduce and reuse as much construction site material as possible. As Darius shared, “The mission of Habitat for Humanity has taught me a lot, most importantly that reducing, reusing, and recycling should be part of my daily routine.”

Darius added, “Another important thing I learned from the trip is the value of working as a team. Without everyone’s group effort, we would not have been able to finish the entire ceiling of the house. One quote that our construction lead expressed to us is, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to get it done right, work as a team.” We worked hard each day and got to know each other better along the way. The value of working as a team allowed me to explore my own specific strengths and weaknesses and then work on them as the week progressed. I saw growth in myself and also my colleagues. This was truly a rewarding experience and a learning opportunity I will carry on throughout life.”

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