Overview & Goals
Here at Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, we know that vocational skills are just as much a path to financial stability and security as anything else. It’s in this spirit that we’re excited to begin pursuing a new initiative that aims to provide high school seniors an early exposure to the industry of construction. This program is designed to provide the next generation a hands-on education in valuable technical skills, while engaging them in the social aspect of building affordable housing, bettering their community one project at a time.
To kick off the program we have partnered with The Villages Charter High School. High school juniors enter the Construction Academy and start their construction curriculum at school to develop the competencies essential to the construction industry such as skills and knowledge related to safety practices, the proper use of hand and power tools, plan reading, and basic rough carpentry and framing. By the time the students enter their senior year, they are ready to get out on a Habitat job site and put into practice the skills they have mastered the year before.
In addition, as a long-standard proponent of affordable housing solutions and of Habitat’s mission, Citizens First Bank made a generous donation to support the first graduating class! Their contribution will help ensure we deliver the most engaging and productive hands-on experience for the students we serve and will do a great deal to pave the way for the program to expand into other schools and reach more students.
Hands on Learning
Annually, senior students in our Youth Construction Academy will take time out of their school day to meet on an active construction site, under experienced supervision, and begin practicing the skills and processes involved in building a house. Over the course of a year, students will have helped take a home from raw land to roofing and been a major part of that progression. By providing this opportunity, these young adults are able to see the vast amounts of options that are available to them in the trades as well as appreciate what goes into the home-building process. At the end, they will receive a certificate of completion that will allow them to show future trade schools or industry employers that they have completed a recognized training program.
The Ultimate Final Exam
By the end of the student’s senior year they will have the finished product of their labor standing in front of them, a brand new affordable home. Students will be invited to join the dedication ceremony, meeting the Habitat family that they built this home for.