Students’ Sweat Equity Benefits City, Habitat

by Austin Hayslip
Courtesy of A-State Department of Media

After a year working with Habitat for Humanity, Jonesboro High School students are getting their hands dirty. ASU TV’s Austin Hayslip reports.

“I loved it, I love the whole idea of working with your classmates to work for a common goal, and that being building a house for a Jonesboro citizen,” said high school student Mark Havdala.

High school students are building houses, not completely on their own, but with the help of Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat has been working with the Jonesboro School District for over a year now. It is a cause Jonesboro High School student Mark Havdala said is worth donating time to.

“You are working, it is a visible and legitimate donation of your time and you actually see what you doing be put to work and the best part is an actual Jonesboro citizen will actually get that house,” he said.

Jonesboro Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Michael Sullivan said it doesn’t begin or end with a house. The students play a vital role in the organization.

“They volunteer, they educate, they fundraise and they advocate on behalf of Habitat for Humanity,” he said.

Students who spent months putting together floor plans will begin putting up walls in the coming weeks.

The house being built now is the first that the Jonesboro School District has helped with.

Assistant Superintendent Sue Castleberry said the school district is including almost every campus, giving each student an opportunity to help.

“Our news crews from math and science will come do some video work, so almost every campus will take some of the things,” she said. “The woodwork things, we’ll take that back to the art teachers at the elementary to paint.”

Castleberry said the students are actually teaching her things as well.

“Last year the students taught me how to know how to measure and actually cut siding,” she said.

Habitat for Humanity and JPS have created a relationship that’s benefiting the entire community.