For many college students, spring break is a chance to escape and bask in the sunshine of Cancun or Key West. For others, it’s a chance to give back to communities across the country.

Five Unity College students and two staff members will spend their spring break, March 17-24, in Tacoma, Wash., for a week of service helping to build and repair houses in the area.

This experience is part of the Collegiate Challenge with the Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity, and will give students hands-on experience while they learn about how affordable housing builds strength, stability, and self-reliance for homeowners.

“Unity College encourages students to take adventures like this to Tacoma and beyond, not only to develop personally and professionally as leaders, but also to lend a helping hand to other communities and the people who live within those communities,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “When we come together as states, nations, and all parts of the world, everyone benefits. This trip will also give these students a chance to experience the places their career may take them.”

“Through the education I have received at Unity, as well as through my own endeavors, I have developed a passion for service that has guided my work these past few years,” said Nicholas Terry (‘18), an Adventure-Based Environmental Education major at Unity College. “Now in my last semester, this opportunity to spend my time volunteering for the sake of others is the culmination of that passion, and I am ecstatic that I have been fortunate enough to finish out my senior year in such an exhilarating way.”

In addition to the service project, the trip will include additional opportunities to learn about sustainability initiatives, visit museums, and take part in other educational activities.

“Participating in programs like Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge in Tacoma is a unique opportunity for students to learn in a hands-on experiential way, something that is at the core of a Unity College education,” said Jlynn Frazier, Development Officer, one of the staff members to join students on the trip. “At Unity College, we believe that to truly live our mission, as America’s Environmental College, we must innovatively and proactively reach out to build a sustainable network from coast to coast, and beyond.”