Seniors at Notre Dame Prep learn construction skills to help families in Mississippi

TOWSON, Md. - The engineering lab at Notre Dame Preparatory School transformed into an episode of Tool Time Monday morning.

The room was alive with noise, from saws, hammering, drilling and of course chatter from the senior class. This is a lesson for the ladies to learn construction skills for their upcoming trip to Mississippi.

"We're just creating something that can be someone's home where they can live and be comfortable and raise a family and it's really great," Habitat For Humanity Club President Kennedy Monaco said.

This is the 25th year the school has gone to Starkville, Mississippi to partner with Habitat for Humanity and work on homes that help those in need.

The trip started when a social issues teacher wanted to immerse the students in the culture from the civil rights movement.

Fifteen seniors were selected this year through an application process and will be exposed to one of the most impoverished cities in the nation.

"I'm really looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and seeing how people live down there which is a completely different area than what we have up here," Senior Sammy Tamberino said.

She's been involved in community service efforts throughout her school years, but this will be her first Habitat For Humanity experience.

She said she's looking forward to finding a bigger appreciation for what she has here in Maryland and said she was taught to use what she's been given to give back.

"I believe last year they built a shed from scratch while they were doing the actual house they were working on and there's actually a whole street of houses that were really just built by this habitat community," Monaco said.

Habitat For Humanity is a nonprofit that helps provide affordable housing to improve communities around the world.

The ladies learned how to use power tools, sand and create signs; skills that will help them not only on this trip but throughout their lives.

"Service is so much a part of what we do here at NDP, the girls get involved from middle school on and they just don't think twice about it, when there's a chance to help out they get involved," Chaperone and Past Participant Pam Keffer said.

She said her daughters also went on this trip and it was priceless.

Achieving the school's goal of creating change in communities that are most in need.

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