RCC, Project GreenBuild join to help Habitat

By Leighton Bell
Richmond Community College

HAMLET — The Washington Park College and Career Readiness class at Richmond Community College has partnered with Project GreenBuild to assist Scotland County Habitat for Humanity with building a home in Laurinburg.

“The partnership allows students to acquire basic construction skills and earn hands-on job experience while also continuing their education,” said Project GreenBuild construction manager Kendrick Thomas.

An RCC photo

An RCC photo

Around 15 students are taking part in the project, including 21-year-old Tarrance Wall, who was first in the Washington Park class to complete the requirements to earn his high school diploma. He now plans to join the military and use the G.I. Bill to continue his education.

“We’re all very proud of Tarrance,” said RCC’s Scotland County Coordinator Melanie Hunt, whose comments were echoed by Washington Park instructor Greg Taylor.

“Tarrance is an exceptional student, who I’ve seen make a lot of progress – both academically and socially – since October,” said Taylor. “He really reflects the typical Scotland County student who’s willing to overcome the obstacles to attain their degree.”

A transient student as a youth, Wall said he quit attending high school around the age of 16 due to frustrations with the system.

“My family moved a lot when I was growing up, so I wound up going to a lot of different schools,” said Wall. “And it seemed every time I moved to a new school, the curriculum requirements had changed.”

Wall said his mind changed about the importance of education after realizing it was impossible to find a good job without a high school diploma.

“I had a younger cousin who told me I needed to go back to school, and he actually recommended RCC. So I decided to give it a try,” said Wall.

Wall credited Taylor and Project GreenBuild Director Stephanie Speece with pushing him in the right direction, as well as his classmates, Deidre Easterling and Kiana McLain, for providing encouragement. He said he’s also enjoyed having an opportunity to be involved with Habitat for Humanity and learn a trade through Project GreenBuild.

“This is something I’d like to continue doing,” said Wall, referencing working with his hands and giving back to his community.

Speece said she’s confident in Wall’s future success.

“Tarrance has a very genuine heart and his passion for helping others is second to none,” said Speece. “It’s been a real pleasure working with him and all the folks from RCC.”

Scotland County Habitat for Humanity Director Susan Covington said she’s also been pleased with the partnership between her group, Project GreenBuild and RCC, adding she’s also happy with the progress the group of students has made erecting a new home on Oakdale Street in Laurinburg. Covington said plans are to have a family moved into the home this summer.

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