2010 | Archives
Lowe's grant helps students practice skills while giving back to
"I'm eternally grateful," Amie Smith said.
"There's no way I could have afforded
Amie Smith worried when her four great-grandchildren played on the
rickety, backyard porch of her 40-year-old home. But the elderly North
Omaha resident, who has osteoporosis and is recovering from recent
knee replacement surgery, could not physically or economically
complete the needed repairs.
Thanks to the help of dozens of MCC students, her home has changed
both inside and out. Students in a green construction class conducted
energy efficiency tests and installed insulation, weather stripping
and caulking—improving energy conservation in the home
six-fold. A team of Omaha Public Schools Career Center students
replaced the dilapidated porch. Meanwhile, MCC Horticulture students
worked with Smith to create a sustainable landscape around her
"I'm eternally grateful," Smith said. "There's no
way I could have afforded that."
The weatherization and repairs are part of a $10,000 SkillsUSA
Community Service Grant from Lowe's Charitable and Educational
Foundation. Students worked at four low-income homes throughout
Omaha, empowering residents to better track their energy use while
learning skills relevant to the growing green energy industry. A
partnership among MCC, Lowe's Companies, the Eastern Nebraska
Office on Aging, SkillsUSA, Omaha Public Schools and the Green
Omaha Coalition brought the project to fruition.
Dave Horst, Industrial and Commercial Trades Instructor, said
projects like this provide an opportunity for students to put skills
learned in classroom laboratories into practice.
"Too often we forget the community and how important it is
for students to learn to give back to the community," he