APH Students Help Renovate Home for Local Vietnam Veteran

Service to those in need is woven into the fabric of Penguin Hall. Our program combines service learning goals and community service in ways that can enhance both student growth and the common good. APH Students are passionate about giving back to the community, whether it’s cleaning up litter from local parks, granting a child’s wish for a bedroom makeover, or writing letters to President Biden in the effort to see positive change in the world. Before the Thanksgiving holiday, a time of giving back and caring for others, the students in Amy Rangel’s Introduction to Structural Design class took a field trip to the Habitat for Humanity house in Lynn, MA.

Introduction to Structural Design is a math elective course that introduces students to structural behavior and design. Students learn key concepts of structural stability, material behavior, equilibrium and design, as well as basic structural engineering terminology. Their field trip was the perfect hands-on experience to observe and help build structures.

Habitat for Humanity is currently providing Vietnam Veteran, Vincent Gunning, a complete house renovation. Amy Rangel provided the details of the day:

“At the time of APH’s visit, the house had been completely gutted with a new roof and new siding. The interior of the house had been redesigned to provide accessible living on the first floor for Gunning with additional bedrooms on the second floor for a future family. With rolled sleeves, gloves, goggles, and hard hats, Nathalie F. ‘22, MaryGrace K.‘23, Alexis P. ‘23, Addie M. ‘22, and G Q. ‘22 set to work!

During the course of the day, the students worked on furring down the porch ceiling to provide support for the future ceiling, installing fascia in preparation for trip work, and finished up the day by starting the installation of the porch decking.

Nathalie, as the sole student over 18, spent the day at her personalized cut station, mastering the chop saw, table saw, and jigsaw. G served as Nathalie’s assistant by helping with measuring, holding boards, and distributing cut boards to the porch crew. MaryGrace, Alexis, and Addie were assisted by Mr. Rangel, one of the field trip’s chaperones, on the porch as they installed all of the cut pieces. The weather was a beautiful warm November day, allowing everyone to enjoy the view of the Saugus River from the back lawn lunch area.”

“I loved working on the job site with my classmates.” said MaryGrace. “It was not only a lot of fun, but I also got a lot of valuable experience from it, including construction experience and bonding with my classmates. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and did things I never thought I would, like climbing on scaffolding and using a nail gun while standing on a ladder! By the end of the day, I was absolutely exhausted, but it was totally worth it. I 100% would go back when given the opportunity and 100% recommend it to family and friends looking for a hard yet rewarding experience.”