The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Rivers builds community homes by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity

HEALTHY HOUSING. Senior Ayla Rivers builds houses alongside Habitat for Humanity for her senior project. She started volunteering Apr. 26 and completed her 21 hours of service. “Typically, alongside senior’s capstone projects, they will also be completing community service … however, my project is completely volunteer work,” Rivers said. (Submitted by Ayla Rivers)

Stressful and coincidental. These two words aren’t usually used to describe senior projects; however, they perfectly encapsulate Senior Ayla River’s experience leading up to her final decision to work with Habitat for Humanity.

Initially inspired by a passion for art, Rivers wanted to work with the parent of a SPA alum on a project related to glass-blowing; however, due to conflict issues, the idea fell through. Rivers’ second idea was to help a few bike shops assemble bikes, even reaching out to five different shops to no avail.

Feeling pressured, Rivers started reaching out to stores randomly, hoping for a response.

“At this point, I was getting pretty stressed about not having a project,” Rivers said.

Continuing to brainstorm ideas, Rivers sat down with her family one day, and someone suggested looking into Habitat for Humanity, a global non-profit with the goal of providing everyone with an accessible and affordable place to live.

Having figured out her shift schedule and awaiting supervisor approval, Rivers is set to begin working on Apr. 29.

I knew that from the beginning of my project I wanted to do something with my hands.

— Ayla Rivers

Working with over 70 countries and impacting around 59 million lives since 1976, Habitat for Humanity places importance on building a safe and healthy community centered around people. Partnering with different local organizations, they offer many services such as home construction, support for elderly homeowners, revitalizing neighborhoods, financial education, disaster response, and research into home innovation.

Outside of these services, Habitat for Humanity is also heavily involved in advocacy for more affordable housing and breaking racial barriers in homeownership through campaigns to change policies and systems. For example, Cost of Home, their most impactful U.S. advocacy campaign, has improved access to affordable housing for over 6.6 million people.

“I knew that from the beginning of my project I wanted to do something with my hands, and building houses for a month with Habitat for Humanity just … worked out, ” Rivers said.

She hopes that pairing with the organization to construct housing structures will have a positive impact.

“My end goal is to be proud of the work I put in and what it created,” Rivers said, “… and to also know that what I helped build will hopefully better someone else’s life.”

Rivers is excited to immerse herself in the new experiences that come along with her project: “The point of a senior project is to acquire an internship or apprenticeship position, learn a new skill or trait, but most importantly explore an area of interest of yours.”

To get involved with Habitat for Humanity, the organization offers many volunteer opportunities on its website, from working locally or abroad to low-commitment or long-term options to sign up for. Support through donations will also help the non-profit expand and provide resources to help more people.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Amanda Hsu
Amanda Hsu, Feature Editor
My name is Amanda Hsu (she/her). I work as a Feature Editor for The Rubicon. At school, I’m involved in volleyball, SILC, and CAS. I love to travel, draw, and bake. I can be reached at [email protected].

Comments (0)

Comments are welcomed on most stories at The Rubicon online. The Rubicon hopes this promotes thoughtful and meaningful discussion. We do not permit or publish libel or defamatory statements; comments that advertise or try to sell to the community; any copyrighted, trademarked or intellectual property of others; the use of profanity. Comments will be moderated, but not edited, and will post after they are approved by the Director of RubicOnline.  It is at the discretion of the staff to close the comments option on stories.
All The Rubicon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.