Professor Kelley, behavioral science department chair, and 12 of her students recently volunteered with Habitat for Humanity (also known as Habitat House) to help build a house for a less fortunate family.
“Since I’ve been teaching full time, I’ve decided that I want to involve my students in community service activities,” Prof. Kelley said. “We’ve done a bunch of different things throughout the years, and Habitat is one of those I’ve gotten the students consistently involved in.”
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization in Smith County that has been working since 1989 to build affordable housing for low-income families. Habitat also repairs houses for low-income seniors.
Professor Kelley has rounded up her students in the Behavioral Science department to volunteer at a habitat house every semester since 2008, except for summers. Their volunteer work includes roofing, laying shingles, painting, carrying walls, building siding and laying grass. This gives the students not only extra credit in her class, but the reward of knowing they helped do something good for their community. Kelley and her students have worked on around 14 different houses in Smith County.
“It gives my students an opportunity to kind of be a part of something like that,” she said. “They have to write a paper after they participate on homelessness, working poor, poverty statistics in Smith County, the habitat system and how it works. I will get some of the most incredible papers from my students and what it meant to them. It really impresses them.”
Professor Kelley and her students have also participated in other community service projects, such as PATH, the Coats For Kids Foundation and the East Texas Human Needs Network. They have done poverty simulators and Night Without a Home, where volunteers spent a night in Bergfield park, and even helped with the show Extreme Home Makeover.
“It was a campus wide program,” she said. “I had signup sheets for morning, afternoon, and the middle of the night. People were working around the clock. People got involved from the top of the TJC organization down — students, teachers, staff.”
To participate in any of these projects, contact Prof. Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org.