by Nina Davis – Work Internship Teacher

South has introduced an exciting, experiential work internship course. This year the students in the course will be part of the first London Youth Build for Habitat for Humanity.  We are participating with University of Western Ontario students and other organizations, corporations and volunteers.  Funding for this home has been provided by the Libro Financial Group and ongoing fundraising by the UWO Habitat Club. The Youth Build group is building half of a duplex on the old Outlaws biker property (corner of Frances and Egerton Street) – what a wonderful transformation for this neighbourhood!  Ten students from South are involved with this build. One has aspirations of becoming a filmmaker and will be producing a short documentary on the build.  

The groundbreaking ceremony was on September 16th and since then, the students have been busy training for the job site. Two weeks were spent working in one of Saunder’s woodworking shops (Thanks to Mr. Garretts for sharing his shop with us) where students learned the proper, safe use of tools and equipment and made their own tool boxes for the site.  Team building, using Appreciative Inquiry methodology and Tribes activities, has created a strong team of students dedicated to working collaboratively and safely with each other. The students had an informative and challenging day at Local 1059 Craftworker’s Union, learning how to use safety harnesses for heights, how to use ladders and how to erect scaffolding. The students have been outfitted with safety boots and necessary safety equipment. Tuckey Home Hardware (Editor’s note: Owner Dave Tuckey is an ’82 grad) has very generously donated leather tool belts, hammers, tape measures, utility knives and multi-head screwdrivers for each student. Students will keep this kit after the course, providing them with the basic necessities to start working in the construction industry.  We are hoping to work with Habitat on future Youth Build projects. If anyone is interested in supporting this venture with a donation, please contact Dan Knight.  Dan, along with our Garnet Club, will be organizing and coordinating South’s Habitat fundraising initiative.