Supporting future aspirations while building on family’s dreams

Students from Mr.Sacchetti's grade 12 Design Tech class take a quick breather to pose for the camera with staff from Homes by DeSantis and Habitat for Humanity.

It was a sun filled Friday, with the students of Hillfield Strathallan College donning hard hats and  construction boots and joining the Homes by DeSantis construction team on the Habitat for Humanity  site. The Comet Avenue job site was buzzing with activity as the students from Mr. Sacchetti’s Design  Technology Class spent the day learning about everything that goes into building a new home from the  ground up. Many of the grade 12 students considered this day a glimpse into their future, with post-secondary ambitions ranging from Architecture to Engineering. Several students took a quick break to  share their experience and how it had opened their eyes to elements of construction and design they  had not previously considered.

Architect hopeful Hayley Sykes developed a love of architecture while visiting a friend in China as she  was inspired by the unique types of structures. “Now I know how to go from plans to real life, I think this  experience will help me out later” Hayley shared, “It’s a lot of fun, and it’s really different than anything  I’ve experienced before. I’ve never worked on a construction site.” Other students shared in Hayley’s  impression that their participation in the Habitat build was a great stepping stone to prospective  careers.

“When I was young I always liked building things so I’ve kept with it. It’s interesting going through the  whole house seeing how everything works and where certain things are supposed to be,” says future  engineer David Johnson.

Mark Emmanuel shares a similar interest in engineering and was left with this impression “It was  interesting to see how everything works, so when you go home at night you realize what’s going on  behind the walls. I had no idea that different companies did this, pitched in together to help build homes  for people that wouldn’t be able to afford them on their own. I think that all these different people  coming together to donate their time, resources and money is pretty amazing.”

Mr. Sacchetti , described why his class chose to join forces with Homes by DeSantis and Habitat for Humanity for this special project. “As a College, we are changing the way we deliver our curriculum.

In the Design Technology Program, we take pride in the implementation of student-centred learning  throughout our curriculum. At its best, student-centred learning is about helping students to discover  their own learning styles, to understand what motivates them, and to help them acquire effective skills  that will be valuable throughout their lives. Also, the exposure of a genuine interest to Community  service opportunity like Habitat for Humanity and supporting the charity by fundraising.”

Despite most students already having other types of volunteer experience under their belts, they  expressed that working on the Habitat for Humanity site was a unique experience. With only several  weeks remaining before the home is finalized the students of Hillfield Strathallan left an indelible mark  on the build. Buried beneath sheets of drywall the signatures of each student can be found on the two-by-fours used to frame this incredible home.

Habitat for Humanity Hamilton is an independent, not for profit Christian housing program dedicated to  the elimination of poverty housing by building homes in partnership with families in need. Homeowners  contribute hundreds of “sweat equity” hours to the construction of their own homes and then repay a  long-term, no-interest mortgage. Mortgage costs are kept low by the use of volunteer labour and the  generous donations of funds and building materials

Homes by DeSantis has been the builder behind thousands of family homes located in the Hamilton,  Halton and Niagara regions for more than 50 years. The company’s hallmark is a combination of  premium materials, meticulous workmanship, and exceptional levels of customer care — coupled with  an intense passion for homebuilding for the value-conscious buyer. The Canadian Home Builders’  Association has bestowed its highest honour on the company, naming it “Builder of the Year”.  Since then, many other provincial, local and building awards have followed, as Homes by DeSantis  continues to create first-class communities offering creative home design and the ultimate in customer  satisfaction.


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