Students spend spring break building homes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students spend spring break building homes

Valdosta - Like many college students, Ryan Riley headed south for spring break. "We took about a three hour plane ride and then a three hour car drive from Jacksonville to Valdosta," said Riley.

But he traded in his bathing suit for a tool belt. "You can go anywhere and do anything you want for spring break but to do this, you touch somebody for five days and its really important," said Riley.

Students from North Georgia, South Carolina, and even as far away as Pennsylvania are in Valdosta this week for Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge. "It's been a great experience so far, we've been working really hard and getting a lot accomplished, its only the third day and we already have siding on the wall," said Leigh Takata.

They wanted to spend their break from the classroom making a difference in the lives of others. "I feel like we're going a great thing for the city and for people less fortunate than we are and I think we shouldn't take advantage of that and we should try to help others who need it," said Courtney Staten.

Over the next three weeks, more than 100 students will take part in Valdosta's collegiate build. Once they finish this home, they'll build two more houses on the vacant lot next door. "They do great, the main thing is their attitude and they're very positive, they re-energize us and make us feel better about what we're doing," said Stuart Mullis, Habitat Director.

And when they head back home, they may not have a tan like their classmates, but they will leave knowing that because of their hard work, a South Georgia family has a brand new home.

posted by ashley.harper@walb.com