College students cross state lines to help build Valdosta home

By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 12, 2018

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) – The National Collegiate Challenge inspires students on the East Coast to build a Habitat for Humanity home in South Georgia.

Nearly two dozen University of Massachusetts Amherst students are spending Spring Break in Valdosta, trading in their week at the beach for a week on the job. On Monday, every nail helped to build a family's future.

"It's a chance for us to experience a community that's different than our own, and spend some time over Spring Break doing something productive and really getting to take something away from that," said Sara Custodio, project leader and University of Massachusetts Amherst student.

Over 200 Habitat for Humanity homes have been built in Valdosta, and in June, one more will be finished.

"We're well on our way of doing away with substandard housing, and Habitat plays such a great part in that. Habitat is continually building these homes for folks to replace their houses. And for the people that are moving in these houses, they are so dedicated and so proud of them," said Valdosta Mayor John Gayle.

For these students, a week away from the classroom is spent building a better life for people in need.

"You really see how much a home impacts a family and what it has the potential to do. A home is more than just a place to live, it's where you grow up and have your values," Custodio said.

The students will leave at the end of the week. The group said they will have a chance to meet the family whose home they're building before they leave.