TICONDEROGA - A Vermont family has a new home with a little help from a Ticonderoga college student.
Zach Pratt, a senior at St. Michael's College, was part of a group to help construct a single-family home in Milton, Vt. It was a Habitat for Humanity project.
"It definitely was a great experience," Pratt said. "I'd recommend a project like this to anyone looking to do some community service."
Habitat for Humanity is an international, ecumenical Christian, non-governmental, non-profit organization devoted to building "simple, decent, and affordable" housing. Homes are built using volunteer labor and are sold at no profit. The program began in Georgia in 1968 and now has chapters worldwide.
Pratt is a member of the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership program in Vermont. Each year the program invites local high school students to a weekend seminar on leadership and community service.
This year Pratt was part of the seminar organizing committee that selected the Habitat for Humanity project to be part of the HOBY weekend.
"We wanted to do a community service project," Pratt explained. "I coordinated our efforts with Habitat for Humanity. It worked out great.
"It was an amazing three days," he added. "There were 35 volunteers all working together. It was nice to see so many people working to give something back to their community."
Pratt and the HOBY participants sheetrocked and painted.
Pratt became involved in HOBY while in high school. He graduated from Ticonderoga High School in 2006.
Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership is an organization dedicated to training and nurturing the young leaders of tomorrow. Its mission is to provide lifelong leadership development opportunities that empower youth to achieve their highest potential.
Founded in 1958 by American actor Hugh O'Brian, the first seminar was held in Los Angeles and was held once a year until 1967. Since then, the HOBY program has spread to over 70 locations in all 50 United States and 16 countries.