Civic-Minded Students Leave Huge Imprint During Jersey Relief Effort

Five Penn College students and their adviser participated in an Alternative Spring Break trip to New Jersey, logging 180 hours of community service amid lingering storm damage in a number of coastal neighborhoods.

Students' sandy signature will wash away, but not their indelible mark on storm-ravaged communities.

Penn College students take a typical hands-on approach to problem-solving.

From March 11-15, the group – students Joshua J. Hale, of Lebanon, Ind., majoring in electrical technology concentration; Richelle C. Lloyd, of Shamokin, industrial and human factors design; Godwin Omo-Ekpadi, of Hatfield, construction management; Anthony S. Saitie, of Philadelphia,  plastics and polymer engineering technology; and Lauren E. Zinn, of Dillsburg, dental hygiene: health policy and administration concentration; and adviser Malinda C. Love, assistant director of student activities for diversity and cultural life – worked through Community Collaborations International, which helps coordinate project volunteers among a number of organizations.

Adviser Malinda C. Love surveys the devastation that remains, five months after Sandy's deadly onslaught.

The Penn College contingent worked in the communities of Toms River, Brick, Seaside Heights and Brigantine installing dry wall, painting, cleaning up debris, clearing space for a community garden and organizing materials at an area relief center.

While on one of its projects, the group met the mother of a Penn College alum, still in the clothes she was wearing when the storm struck.

“You would never know that this woman has lost so much,” Love said. “She encouraged the students and sang Penn College’s praises. She let them know that the work they are doing now to earn their degrees will pay off, even in the hardest of times.”

While declining to pose with students, the mother of an alumnus snapped this photo of students striking an optimistic chord.

Because of the education her son received at Penn College, the woman told the group, he’s been successful in his career and able to recreate himself to survive in a tough economy.

The students represented the college well, Love noted, making people take notice in a positive way.

They posted a number of photos to the CC International blog that is covering the Hurricane Sandy recovery work, and shared the college’s easy-to-remember web address: in person, on white boards and in the sand at Atlantic Beach.

Bit by bit, slowly but steadily, a battered home is restored.

Photos provided by Malinda C. Love

Comments – One Comment

I am so proud our college makes opportunities like this possible – much thanks to the students who participated – the physical labor you provided does not compare to the care and kindness you extended to those in need – Thank you for your service!

Posted by Kathy Walker at April 2, 2013 at 10:35 am

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