The BCOM Student Government Association (SGA) rallied together and rolled up their sleeves to help Habitat for Humanity build homes for their fellow Las Crucens. The organization helps families break the cycle of poverty by giving them an “affordable, stable” home.

“At Habitat for Humanity, we build,” their website states. “We build because we believe that everyone, everywhere, should have a healthy, affordable place to call home. More than building homes, we build communities, we build hope and we build the opportunity for families to help themselves.”

BCOM student Royce Sumayo, who serves as co-chair for SGA’s community outreach efforts, said they reached out to medical students from both classes and asked what types of activities they would be interested in engaging in to give back to the local community. Many expressed interest in Habitat for Humanity, so Sumayo got in touch with Dyana Todd, the local Mesilla Valley Habitat for Humanity coordinator.

Fourteen BCOM students helped out on local home builds for two full days of work. The participating students included Sumayo, Jessica Jacob, Emily Hanka, Max Jiganti, Jared Pugh, Trevor Octavio, Brent Hunsaker, Alexander Schell, Alex Nelsen, Ekemini Usoro, Larissa Check, Tyler Wilson, Yasin Uddin, and Amr Nasef—many of whom also brought along additional friends and family to volunteer.

Sumayo said their tasks included roofing, making window trim, installing bathtubs, and helping to create the foundation of the house. The homes are scheduled for completion in April and the students will be invited back to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony, along with all the other volunteers who worked on the project.

“It was such a great experience overall,” Sumayo said. “We were able to work, literally, with members of the community and meet such fun and genuine people. Each of us learned new tasks in order to build a house.”

The students also got a special opportunity to meet the people their work will directly assist. Sumayo said, “Meeting a future homeowner was special. We could see the excitement for her family and gratitude towards us for helping build her home.”