Press Release - August 20, 2010 and August 23, 2010

Contact:  Kelly Bachman
302-633-2501 or 302-299-9791

Ferris School and Habitat For Humanity Partnership Recognized by Governor Markell


** MEDIA ADVISORY - August 20, 2010 **

WHO

Governor Jack Markell, Children’s Department Secretary Vivian Rapposelli, Job Developer Ashley Biden, Delaware youth, Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers.

WHAT

Governor Markell will join representatives from the Children’s Department, Habitat for Humanity and volunteers from AstraZeneca, to recognize and applaud the youth who are currently enrolled in or have successfully completed the “Pre-Apprenticeship Program” at Ferris School.

The “Pre-Apprenticeship Program” is comprised of a 72-hour classroom study “Intro to Craft Skills” course, sponsored through Delaware’s adult vocational technical schools, which offers a certified curriculum provided by the National Center for Construction Education Research. Once the students pass the classroom portion of the course, they successfully complete the program by volunteer interning with Habitat.

WHY

Students gain valuable hands-on construction experience, learn key fundamentals of construction, the importance of safety precautions on the job and care and maintenance of tools. Such an enriching experience helps build their confidence and their resume and better prepares them to be successful, contributing members of their communities.

WHEN

Thursday, August 26, at 10 a.m.

WHERE

Habitat For Humanity Work Site – 1117 Cade St., Wilmington, DE 19802


** FULL RELEASE - August 23, 2010 **

Wilmington, DE — Governor Markell will join representatives from the Delaware Children’s Department, Habitat for Humanity and volunteers from AstraZeneca on Thursday, August 26, at 10 a.m., to recognize and applaud the youth who are currently enrolled in or have successfully completed the “Pre-Apprenticeship Program” at Ferris School for Boys. In addition to praising the partnership and its success, Governor Markell will lend some sweat equity to the current project. They will come together at the Phillips Park II work site, a duplex in progress, located at 1117 Cade Street in Wilmington.

The “Pre-Apprenticeship Program” is comprised of a 72-hour classroom study “Intro to Craft Skills” course, sponsored through Delaware’s adult vocational technical schools, which offers a certified curriculum provided by the National Center for Construction Education Research. Once the students pass the classroom portion of the course, they successfully complete the program by volunteer interning with Habitat.

“This is a win-win for youth, Habitat for Humanity and the community,” said Governor Jack Markell. “The partnership with Habitat for Humanity shows young people how they can use their skills to help create affordable housing. It provides these young men with the opportunity to use the trades they have learned to make a positive difference in other people’s lives.”

The program first started in November 2009, when Habitat hosted 11 students from Ferris who expressed interest in the building trades and met specific academic and behavioral criteria. Since the program’s inception, 17 students have completed the program and are either employed in construction or are furthering their education.

“Part of our mission is to assist youth in making positive changes through services that support public safety, behavioral health and individual, family and community well-being,” said Vivian Rapposelli, Secretary of the Delaware Children’s Department. “This program truly embodies what we’re trying to accomplish for the youth we serve.”

The students, along with their Vo-tech instructor Roy Arters, work two days a week on-site, once the classroom component has been fulfilled. Beginning last winter, they have put in sweat equity at various locations including Grace Point in Middletown, Simonds Garden in New Castle and, most recently, Phillips Park II in Wilmington. Students also worked at the Habitat warehouse, where they built wall panels and constructed saw horses and picnic benches.

“Partnering with Ferris School has been a positive experience for all of us,” said Kevin Smith, executive director of Habitat New Castle County. “The young men come to our work sites eager to put their classroom knowledge to the test and have made significant contributions towards our efforts. We look forward to continued collaboration.”

The Delaware Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, dependent, or have mental health or substance abuse problems, and/or have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts. For more information, please visit us online at https://kids.delaware.gov.

Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County has been building affordable housing with low-income families since 1986. Since our inception, we have built 166 homes in areas throughout New Castle County including the City of Wilmington, Middletown, Newark, New Castle, and St. Georges. As a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, we are among the top three largest affiliates in the Northeast (of over 210 affiliates from DE to Maine) in terms of home construction. Through our unique approach, we help low-income families break their cycle of poverty through the stability and empowerment gained through homeownership.