Habitat Lake-Sumter is blessed with volunteers and interns that travel from all over the globe to dedicate their service to community with our organization on “volunteer vacations,” with some internships lasting from one week to a month or more.
“It is encouraging that so many humanitarian-minded people choose to invest short periods of time living and working with us developing communities
in Lake and Sumter counties.”
~ Danielle Stroud, CEO
Our most recent construction intern is 23 year old college student, Angeline Collet, from France. After passing a scientific baccalaureate and a 2 year technical degree in civil construction and green building at Egletons, she embarked on a 3 year general engineering degree specializing in housing design and energy systems. In Bordeaux, France, Angeline is employed at a company where she works in a design office specializing in HVAC, thermal and environmental engineering.
With both the desire to continue her studies and to take part in real projects, Angeline chose the apprenticeship route and traveled to Eustis, FL for her construction internship with Habitat Lake-Sumter. Many French engineering schools require that you spend time abroad to graduate. A friend had recommended Habitat Lake-Sumter to her and the connections fell into place.
While in Florida Angeline worked on construction projects during the week and on the weekends she explored the Sunshine State. She went hiking, taking lots of photos at the springs and parks; experienced the Kennedy Space Center, where she was lucky to see a rocket take off. She toured the state with stops in Saint Augustine, Daytona Beach, Cedar Key, and Miami. She tried BBQ and seafood too. She was delighted to go snorkeling in Key West, where she saw dolphins, and even took an airboat tour of the Everglades. At the end of her stay, she went to EPCOT with the a few of the Habitat staff, where she said “Paris” was a good copy of the real city in France.
While working on various Habitat sites, Angeline was exposed to the practical experience of all of the physical daily activities on a construction site. While she was on-site with Habitat builders, she received training in labor tasks and developed her technical vocabulary in English. For Angeline, “Home” is more than a shelter from the weather and source of protection – it is a personal refuge – a “cocoon” that, she says, “we design to our taste, to our image, where we feel safe, at peace, with the members who are close to us.”
Gaining new skills and knowledge is helpful as she advances her expertise towards her career goals, volunteering to build and repair Habitat-partnered homes has been meaningful to Angeline. Her internship carried on throughout various projects. Most notably, the Women Build project, where Angeline was inspired daily working alongside 62 women on 13 teams to build a home.
“Every woman has the power to change the world, and I’m convinced of it! I advise everyone to experience this adventure,
and even more so as a woman with the Women Build program at Habitat for Humanity Lake-Sumter!”
~ Angeline Collet
With her positive attitude, Angeline reminds us to never doubt how significant you can be helping with community-based projects.
We wish her all the best for her future!
Gender diversity in the construction industry is shockingly poor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022 approximately 14% of construction workers in the entire workforce were female, but even this figure includes many who work behind a desk, often in design, management or secretarial roles.
Women make up half our population, and students like Angeline are stepping up to fulfill her potential and thrive with the fundamental knowledge to succeed. Way to go, Angeline!