Students and Professors Build Community in Paterson
University students and professors worked together to help Habitat for Humanity.
The house on Belle Street in Paterson was buzzing with activity on a cool November morning as a group of University students and professors worked together to help finish construction of a wood-framed house that when finished will be a home to two families through Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit organization founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. The house on Belle Street is one of approximately 250 homes Habitat has built in the North Ward of Paterson in the past few years, some with the help of the University community.
The William Paterson group was there as part of volunteer effort coordinated by Dorothy Feola, associate dean, College of Education (COE). She says faculty from the College try to participate in a Habitat project twice each year.
“The COE has been doing this for several years,” she says. “This year the response from students was overwhelming. We had to turn many away because Habitat has a cap on the number of volunteers they can accommodate each day.”
On this day, some students were busy installing insulation between wall studs in both units. Other students were sweeping floors and cleaning up. All were there to help.
“I’ve always wanted to do this,” says Richard Lummer, a student. “It’s great work, and I’m learning to work with my hands.”
Another student, Christine Hernandez, says “It’s a good cause, and I’m helping the community. I’ve also learned that construction sites mean a lot of work.”
Photo caption: (Back row, left to right) Neil, a Habitat volunteer, with William Paterson students Danielle Hengge, Dana Boschert, Rick Lummer, Navil Gomez, Amanda Austin, Connor Walsh, a Habitat volunteer, Lindsay LeDuc, Christina Hernandez, and Wakisha McKoy
(Front row, left to right), GiGi, a Habitat volunteer, with William Paterson students Patricia Caporale, and Deanna LoMonaco; Dorothy Feola, associate dean, College of Education, Hilary Wilder, associate professor, educational leadership and professional studies, and student Ian Bouie. Not pictured are Djanna Hill, associate professor, secondary and middle school education; and students George Stevenson and Azaria Cunningham