GSSM Students Working with Habitat for Humanity

Homes for Hartsville: The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics Students Work with Habitat for Humanity to Improve Housing in Darlington County
Hartsville, SC - The mission of The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) is to prepare students to "engage as ethical leaders with the world's most significant issues." Providing greater access to affordable, quality housing is one of the world's most significant issues. However, GSSM students are already making a considerable impact throughout the Hartsville community regarding this concern.

Students from GSSM are partnering with Darlington County Habitat for Humanity during the 2019-20 school year to complete multiple homes in the Hartsville community. A group of GSSM students kicked off this year's efforts on September 11th by helping to paint the interior of a family home on Sumter Street.

Since 2017, GSSM students have contributed to the construction of six homes in Hartsville, including the 50th home built by Darlington County Habitat for Humanity since its founding in 1996. Student work on homes has included framing, installation of cabinets and flooring, painting, landscaping, as well as home dedications.

The work ethic and positive attitude that GSSM students are known for in their academic work carry over into their volunteer efforts. "It is always great working with GSSM. The students are so talented and jump right on any task assigned," said Mark Haenchen, Executive Director of Darlington County Habitat for Humanity.

Working on these homes helps students apply practical applications of their lessons from class while providing a change of pace from the regular daily tasks of high school. "Habitat for Humanity provided us with a much-needed respite from school while giving us a chance to give back to the community [Hartsville, SC] that welcomed us," said Richard Sandvoss, GSSM Class of 2019.

In addition to the rigorous coursework and research projects, GSSM students participate in a wide variety of community service projects. GSSM students recognized the partnership with Habitat for Humanity as the "Best Community Service Project" for the 2017-2018 school year at their annual Student Follies awards.

About Darlington County Habitat for Humanity
Started in 1996, Darlington County Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seek to put God's love into action by building homes, communities, and hope. Darlington County Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman, and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

Founded in Americus, Georgia, USA, in 1976, Habitat for Humanity today operates around the globe and has helped build, renovate and repair decent, affordable houses sheltering more than 9.8 million people worldwide.

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