La Salle University is one of 10 colleges that will participate in the 25th anniversary celebration of Habitat for Humanity to be held in Winston-Salem, N.C., March 2-8, 2014.
A spokesperson for Habitat said while there was no competition to participate in the anniversary for the 10 participating colleges, La Salle University was invited because of its recent work with the Habitat for Humanity Forsyth County affiliate in Winston-Salem. La Salle is sending nine students and one University Ministry and Service staff member to the anniversary event. (La Salle students have also worked at Habitat for Humanity sites in Florida and West Virginia.)
Last year, La Salle students made a video about their experiences working at the Habitat for Humanity site in North Carolina.
Austin Vasko, a junior finance major at La Salle and veteran of two service trips with Habitat for Humanity, said, “Both have been fantastic experiences that I would recommend to any student here at La Salle. Last year’s trip, in particular, was awesome for many reasons. We were able to take part in every step of the building process, from tearing down an old home to handing the keys to a new one to its owner.”
Vasko will be among the La Salle students making the trip to North Carolina.
“I am excited to have the chance to go back and introduce more Lasallians to the work Habitat for Humanity does in Winston-Salem. It is truly an honor to be invited back for their 25th anniversary. Habitat embodies the Lasallian way—meeting individuals where they are and helping them be the best they can be,” Vasko said.
Amanda Szynal, a senior nutrition major who will also participate in the anniversary trip, said, “I got involved with Habitat as a sophomore, and it has truly grown to be a part of my life. A house is made a home based on the love, family, friends, and shelter it brings.”
She added, “Although La Salle University students who work on these homes put effort, strength, and sweat into them, the homes also contain our laughter, determination, singing, and dancing. This is why I have been doing Habitat the past two years, to provide others with security and safety and space to grow in a proper living environment.”
The University’s selection to participate in the Habitat for Humanity anniversary is one of several honors the University or its students have recently received for community service.
In April 2013, La Salle University student Daniel Bowers was named a Newman Civic Fellow, an honor given to inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities. In 2012, La Salle student Emily Plummer was recognized as a Newman Civic Fellow.
The University was designated as a Lead Institution by NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, an organization for the student affairs profession. As a participating institution in NASPA’s Lead Initiative, La Salle will continue to encourage students’ civic development through thoughtful community partnerships, engaging leadership opportunities, and democratic participation.
In addition to the Project Appalachia Trip, there are two University sponsored service trips to the Dominican Republic.
Students are partnering with the Village Mountain Mission in the Dominican Republic, where they work with local communities in a variety of development initiatives. Twenty volunteers will spend one week building homes for deserving families.
For the first time, La Salle University will be partnering with Volunteers in Mission, a Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Program. Students will teach classes in grades Pre-K through 4th grade across various disciplines, including English as a Second Language, computer skills, music, and art. Several students will also work in a health clinic, assisting in nursing and teaching hygiene.
La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. The University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 30 schools in the North Region and among the top 10 Catholic schools in the region.