Whittier Tech Students Build Habitat for Humanity Homes: ‘This Is Who We Are—We Give Back to Our Community’

“This is who we are,” said Alanna Stafford said of Whittier Regional Technical High School's Habitat for Humanity project. “We are Whittier Tech and we give back to our community.”

A dozen Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School seniors from Haverhill are paying it forward ahead of the holidays and building three homes for Salisbury families through Habitat for Humanity.

Doing a good deed while receiving on the job training is just part of the Whittier Tech way, says 18-year-old Alanna Stafford, who works with her carpentry crew peers under the direction of instructor Mike Sandin.

“This is who we are,” said Haverhill’s Stafford. “We are Whittier Tech and we give back to our community.”

During their shop week, seniors leave school at 8:30 a.m. to head to the Old County Road job site to begin work at the duplex and two new homes that were partially constructed when Tech students started work in September.

Students work in all types of weather, in and outdoors. Indoor tasks may include hanging drywall or building partitions, but Stafford says students aren’t afraid to bundle up when necessary. “Working in the cold comes with the job. We signed up for it when we picked this shop. We knew what we were getting ourselves into. We love it,” she said.

Whittier seniors assisting on the project along with Stafford include Killian Barry, Nicholas Glynn, Jared Recillas, Angel Alvarado, Angelica Cintron, Siarra Cronin, Jacob Goodhue, Cody Littlefield, Jyrell Ruiz, Tyler Wetherbee and Emily Wilson, all of Haverhill. Work is expected to run through the end of the year.

Based in Lawrence, Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity has built 87 homes and rehabbed 11 others since 1985.

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