During Spring Break, a group of NSU volunteers returned to New Orleans for the fourth time since the Hurricane Katrina struck nearly seven years ago.
Thirteen NSU students and staff members teamed up with Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Orleans, from March 4-10, to help build a house for a family who lost their home during Katrina.
The NSU student volunteers included: Patrick Gaughran, Katie Pope, Kaitlyn Bouzan, Brittany Hanscom, Kelsey McCusker, Jhunnelle Walters, Ted Delcima, Craigrison Ferguson, Samantha Gonzalez, Anthony Paulino, and Stephen Roberts. Two staff members of the NSU Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, graduate assistant Jon Colon and Assistant Director Aaron Hackman, also volunteered and accompanied the group.
The group painted a two-story home, built upon what was once an empty lot. The students also dug a sidewalk in the thick New Orleans clay, to help bring back a neighborhood that was four feet underwater immediately after the storm.
The NSU volunteers stayed in a camp on the eastern side of the city and worked hard, but there was also time to experience the unique and vibrant New Orleans culture. They walked Bourbon Street and learned about the 17th St. Canal from a Coast Guard veteran who had been deployed to New Orleans immediately following the storm. The group also learned about the vast differences in damage, relative to areas of the city that were above or below sea level. And they had an opportunity to meet residents who witnessed Katrina first hand.