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Habitat for Humanity offers Decatur students a unique experience | Main stories

DECATUR, ELIJAH. (WAND) – This is not your average math or science lesson. Student volunteer Wyatt Brammer says the class is life-changing.

“They’re doing a really good job. It’s a house that would be torn down and now we’re fixing it up for less than a new house,” Brammer said.

This is a collaboration between the City of Decatur, Decatur Public Schools and the local organization Habitat for Humanity. Each works together to make an impact on the community and students.

“They have a lot of houses that have been abandoned or are now owned by the city, so instead of demolishing the houses. They want to restore homes, and that’s why they heard about my program and our partnership with Habitat, and that’s why they donated homes,” said Ed Walton, building trades instructor for DPS.

Instead of demolishing abandoned houses, the city uses the money for materials to restore them. Ed Smith, executive director of Habitat for Humanity’s Decatur area, explains how the city has been a big help throughout the program.

“They gave us part of their American Aid funds to rehabilitate the houses. And they actually gave us two houses from the Land Bank that they donated to us,” Smith said.

Students from Eisenhower and MacArthur receive hands-on training through the program. Including a potential step forward in their future career.

“Before this program I didn’t really know what I was going to do and I just took this course and now I know I’m going to be a carpenter. And it’s what I love to do. It’s something I look forward to every day day. It’s my favorite thing to do,” Brammer said.

“I’m kind of supervising and teaching and directing, but they’re going to do their job. Specifically, I use an apprenticeship curriculum in my program so that a student can go directly into an apprenticeship, rather than starting out as a $15-an-hour apprentice, they actually start at $20 an hour,” Walton explained.

If you are interested in volunteering with Habitat, visit their website here for more information.

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