By Allison Kennedy
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2011
The final morning of the first Collegiate Challenge week sponsored by Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity found students hard at work on six houses in south Columbus.
The students represented Columbus State University and five other schools, including the University of Pittsburgh, Illinois State University, Ashland University in Ohio, Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, and the Ethel Walker School, a girls boarding school also in Connecticut.
“Columbus is a different (Habitat) trip because we get to put up a whole house in a week,” said Bethany Fritzinger, a 20-year-old sophomore from Sacred Heart. This was her second trip here. Local developer Brooks Yancey, the construction manager of the Sacred Heart house, was hosting a cookout for the students Friday night.
“He laughs at us every day,” Fritzinger said.
Sacred Heart student Jane Hanna, 20, was on her first Habitat trip and it was her first time to Columbus.
“I loved it. This is the greatest time I’ve had in my entire life,” Hanna said. “I found it so amazing. I didn’t know any of the students before I signed up and I’ll be walking away with new friends.”
She said her family moved to Carmel, N.Y., from the Bronx when she was 5. They went from an apartment to a house and she talked Friday about the importance of having a place to call home.
“I know what that’s like,” she said.
The youngest crew came from the Ethel Walker School. Kayla Monroe and Dele Odumosu, both 16, were on their first trip. Both want to come back.
“It’s amazing how much you can do in a week,” Kayla said. “We’ve learned some cool new things.”
“A lot of teamwork,” added Dele. “You can’t make it without a team.”
The students had only one raid day: Wednesday. That’s when they toured local museums.
On Thursday night they had a talent show.
Briana Williams, a 19-year-old freshman at Ashland University, took first prize with a Tai Kwon Do demonstration. She broke four boards with her foot.
“It’s a great experience to be able to bless other people,” Williams said of the Habitat work.
A second week of Collegiate Challenge kicks off Monday both in Columbus and in Russell County.
Allison Kennedy, 706-576-6237
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