Students from the Weitz Construction Academy at Seminole Ridge Community High School are actively building houses for Habitat for Humanity. On December 10, the eighth house constructed by the students was moved to Belle Glade. Seven trucks were used to transport the house to its destination. It was an important and emotional day for the 170 students that contributed to the project.
“The best thing about this is the opportunity for the kids,” said Rick Terkovich, an Academy Instructor. “Because of our partnership with Habitat for Humanity, they are able to learn skills to build a house. In fact, by the time they leave high school, they have worked on five houses and have acquired the skills needed to earn and keep jobs.”
The Construction Academy at Seminole Ridge is a Choice program that prepares students for college and construction-related fields. The program focuses on broad, transferable skills, while also stressing the understanding of all aspects of the building construction industry. In addition, students learn essential elements of the industry such as architecture, engineering, planning, management, finance, technical, and production skills.
Incorporated into the curriculum are the underlying principles of technology, labor issues, community issues, health, safety, and environmental issues. The training occurs in the classroom, during labs, and at actual job sites.
“When you have students who wouldn’t normally have an experience like this, where they can get hands-on experience and see a family benefit from their work, there is nothing greater,” said Tamara Licavoli, a teacher and Magnet Coordinator at Seminole Ridge. “In education, your goal is to teach students life lessons, and to have them come out with a deeper sense of compassion for humanity.”
Lorenzo Hampton, who played for the Miami Dolphins, mentored and encouraged the students throughout the process. “We are building homes for the less fortunate, and I think this is a great project,” Hampton said. “Hopefully some other schools will get involved because this is big.”
The Construction Academy is also available as a Choice Program at West Technical Education Center and as an In–House program at Atlantic Community High, Lake Worth Community High, and William T. Dwyer High. The Choice Program application deadline for the Academy and many other programs is Friday, January 24, 2020. Please visit mypbchoiceapp.com to apply for the Academy or any other program.