College students helped build homes for low-income El Paso families

ASB 2015 Resized

Alternative Spring Break staff, participants, site supervisors and members of a family who will live in a home being built.

The United Way of El Paso County (UWEPC) Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, a week-long program that unites students from across the country to improve communities, welcomed its 7th troupe to El Paso on Sun., March 8 through Sat., March 14, 2015.

The group, which was comprised of 20 college students and four University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and El Paso Community College (EPCC) student leaders, focused on building houses with the Lower Valley Housing Corporation. As part of their visit, they had the opportunity to experience El Paso’s culture & history with visits to UTEP, Fort Bliss, The Mustard Seed Café, the UWEPC downtown offices and more sites. Jason Brewer, American Red Cross executive director of the El Paso & Southern New Mexico Chapter, led them in a sunrise hike up the Franklin Mountain.

Participants lodged at the Ysleta Lutheran Mission. They traveled from schools that included Michigan State University, Western Kentucky University, Carnegie Melon University and University of Mississippi, to name a few. Also part of the group were three student leaders from UTEP and El Paso Community College.

“The focus of the trip is obviously working on the site and helping all these people but it’s more than that,” participant Madi King Erger said. “You get to meet all these people from across the country and I’ve already made some really great friends that I plan on seeing sometime in the future, possibly on another service trip.”

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