Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Cornell Students Learn Alongside HAC Clients

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, May 04, 2017 @ 01:19 PM
Cornell-1.jpgHAC Volunteer Coordinator Mary Everett-Patriquin (left), HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi (third from right), and HAC Board Member Paul Melville (far right) with Cornell University’s Alicia Yang (from left), Piragash Swargaloganathan, Crystal Pascal, Luna Oiwa, Keenan Ashbrook and Sean Allen. 

At the beginning of last month, six Cornell University students spent four days learning about the importance of journaling, how to play the ukulele, and the basics of African dance and drumming, alongside HAC clients.

It was all tied to Cornell’s alternative spring break; for the past 13 years the Ivy League college has sent a small contingent of students to Cape Cod to learn about HAC’s work while helping to further the agency’s mission. This year the group took part in a collaborative learning process with clients at HAC’s Hyannis office as well as two of its family shelters, Carriage House in North Falmouth and the Village at Cataumet.

“Your questions and interest in HAC really invigorated the staff in ways we could not have predicted,” HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi told the group at their farewell dinner. “I really feel like the future is bright with you in it.”

That sentiment was reciprocated by the students who left impressed with the dedication and compassion that HAC staff showed towards their work. “Just seeing the passion for the work and the joy your staff has for helping people with knowledge, professionalism, and a warm heart is so inspirational to me,” Cornell freshman Alicia Yang said.

Trip leader Piragash Swargaloganathan, a sophomore at Cornell agreed, saying that the time spent at HAC was proof that people can affect positive change by pursuing a career in the social services.

Teaching Moments
The students said the specific workshops they took, from journaling to puppetry to playing the ukulele, had practical implications that could be applied to HAC’s programs. The group used puppets, for example, as a mechanism to teach children to read at the Village at Cataumet. “We found it was a bridge where we can go into their world,” Alicia said.

The ukulele, freshman Luna Oiwa said, “is an incredible stress reliever” and connected the Cornell students with the clients at Carriage House, as they came together, singing and strumming in harmony.

These specific moments spoke to a larger and more important lesson - “that we are all equal beings,” Piragash said.

“All the things we do are really universal,” something that freshman Keenan Ashbrook said he and his classmates learned through the journaling workshop taught by former Cape Cod Community President Kathleen Schatzberg.

Mary Wilson, who led the puppet workshop, also hosted the students with her husband at their Marstons Mills home. “I was able to witness a community come together,” she said of the week spent with the students. “Thank you for doing something for nothing. You are inspirational, thoughtful and socially-minded. I didn’t really know what I was expecting, but I’ve been so incredibly impressed with you.”

Tags: Cornell, alternative spring break, Cornell University, Family Shelter, Mary Everett Patriquin

A Barn Raising at Community Green with Cornell Students

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, May 05, 2016 @ 12:04 PM
Cornell_Day_4-7.jpgCornell University students were joined by guests at the NOAH Shelter and HAC staff in building a barn at the agency's Community Green property. 

A little more than a week before five Cornell students visited Cape Cod at the end of March, a small patch of land in Sandwich where a miniature donkey named Cooper, some goats and chickens roamed lay vacant.

With the guidance of HAC’s maintenance supervisor Keith Trott, those students helped transform that vacant land into a barn on the agency’s Community Green property where the goal is to one day build 60 affordable apartments.

The project was tackled as part of Cornell University’s alternative spring break, giving college students an opportunity to give back and learn about the impact social service agencies make in the lives of others. Over the past 12 years Cornell has sent a contingent to Cape Cod where they have assisted HAC in its mission to ensure all have access to safe, stable, decent housing.

“I guess I wanted to spend my time and energy away from school doing something valuable,” said Cornell freshman Evelyn Shan as to why she signed up for the trip. It was a similar response for those who joined Shan, including seniors Kentaro Asai of Yokohama, Japan, and Ben Kennet of Silver Spring, Maryland; junior Stacey Kim of Anaheim, California; and freshman Kyle (Eliot) Huang of Salta Lake City, Utah.

Over the course of four days, the Cornell students focused on building the barn while also taking time to visit the NOAH Shelter, to bowl at Ryan Family Amusements in Hyannis with children staying at The Village at Cataumet and to speak with staff about the work they do at HAC.

NOAH Guests Assist With Project

At Community Green, the group was joined by four guests staying at the NOAH Shelter – George, Gayla, Mike and George, all of whom lent their talents to the barn project. Shelter director Greg Bar expressed his appreciation for HAC giving the four the opportunity to help. “I’m just so proud of you guys,” Bar said to the NOAH guests at a farewell dinner for the Cornell students held at Shepley Showcase. “I saw the results after the first day. You just looked brighter.”

Kim, who served as the trip leader, spoke to the passion that staff like Bar have for the work they do and the people they serve. “I guess the really impressive thing about HAC are the people who are invested in housing and homelessness,” she said. “There is a lot of heart that goes into what you do. It is so moving and it really touched me.”

Cornell_Day_4-9.jpgTrip leader Stacey Kim (left) and Evelyn Shan show off some of the tools used in building the Community Green barn. 

HAC’s volunteers bring a similar sense of energy to supporting the agency, something that Kennet spoke to as he mentioned the more than 44,000 meals they serve on an annual basis to those at the NOAH Shelter. “I think it is good to know that volunteers are valued and their work means something and it is important,” he said.

The goal at HAC, CEO Rick Presbrey told the students, is to create a welcoming culture, particularly for “the people we serve because they often aren’t welcomed where they go.” That extended to the group from Cornell who he praised for their efforts as he urged them to continue to be charitable, leaving them with this piece of advice: “something magical happens when one person helps another.”

 

Tags: alternative spring break, Cornell University, Community Green, Community Service, volunteerism

HAC is on Instagram

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Sun, May 17, 2015 @ 09:15 AM

Instagram resized 600

During their time at HAC, Cornell students not only lent their voice to the agency’s monthly newsletter, but to its social media platform.

The group was responsible for helping HAC launch an Instagram account, adding to its current offerings on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. “We see this as a way to add a more youthful message to the work we are doing,” said Julie Wake, HAC’s director of communications and development. “The programs and services we provide have a serious bent to them, but by using Instagram we want to visually show that helping others is not only cool, but can be a lot of fun.”

To follow HAC on Instagram, click this link or search haconcapecod when on your smart phone. And make sure to use the hashtag #HAConCapeCod when posting photos or videos of our events.

Tags: Julie Wake, Cornell, alternative spring break, Cornell University, HAC, social media, Instagram

Staff Take Advantage of HAC Services

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, May 15, 2015 @ 01:19 PM

 

By CORNELL STUDENTS

One of the qualities HAC employees are known for is their compassion for the people they serve. That compassion may lie in the fact that occasionally staffers are clients, and therefore understand the emotions one goes through when seeking help from HAC.

Ann Rebello, HAC’s accounts payable clerk, is a prime example. A few years ago, she was struggling to afford the high costs of rent on Cape Cod so she moved in with her daughter to lessen the financial blow. When her daughter eventually moved out, Rebello looked to colleague Cheryl Kramer, manager of HAC’s Housing and Consumer Education Center (HCEC), for guidance.

“I wanted to see if I could get a consolidated loan to pay my bills so maybe I could afford a little more (rent),” Rebello said. “But when Cheryl saw my credit, she said, ‘Why don’t you try to buy?’ I didn’t think I could afford to buy, but she told me that mortgages are less than rent.”

That one meeting led Rebello to work with Gael Kelleher, the director of real estate for HAC’s Cape Community Real Estate (CCRE), in 2013 to find an affordable home she eventually purchased in South Yarmouth. “Being able to buy a house at my age with my income is nothing short of a miracle,” Rebello said.

Today, Rebello could not be happier. At the end of July, she will be celebrating her second anniversary as a homeowner on Cape Cod.

At HAC, Rebello is not alone. Volunteer coordinator Mary Everett-Patriquin and her husband, who moved to Massachusetts in the spring of 2008, ran into financial complications while trying to sell their previous home in Arizona in the midst of one of the worst economic recessions in recent history.

As a result, the couple moved in with Everett-Patriquin’s mother, saving money to afford their own place. During that time, she was hired by HAC’s communications and development team, and enrolled in the nonprofit’s Homebuyer Education class.

Afterwards, she utilized HAC’s services as Kelleher acted as their real estate agent and was able to find them a condominium in Yarmouth that the couple moved into about a year and a half ago. Like Rebello, Everett-Patriquin could not be more pleased with the assistance she received as a client.

And both agreed that one of the most satisfying aspects of their home purchases was that it was able to generate a profit for HAC. As a nonprofit real estate company, CCRE supports itself and generates funds for HAC programs every time they help a client buy or sell a home. For Kelleher that is the strength of her department. “We don’t make it for profit,” she said. “We make it to do good.”

Tags: alternative spring break, HACbeat, Cornell University, HAC, Mary Everett Patriquin, Gael Kelleher, Ann Rebello

Rising from the Ashes: HAC's Stabilization Program

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, May 13, 2015 @ 11:11 AM
Charlene & Maryanne resized 600Charlene (left) with HAC’s AnnMarie Torrey.

By CORNELL STUDENTS

Motivation comes in many forms. For some, it is internal. For others, it is external.
With Charlene, her motivation was the latter, using her daughter and granddaughter as inspiration to find a home where they could safely live together.

Not long ago, that concept was merely a dream that Charlene thought was impossible. But with HAC’s help, Charlene discovered that some dreams are attainable. You just need a little encouragement and a lot of support. At HAC, Charlene received both.

She turned to HAC about five years ago when she was at one of the lowest points in her life. Her daughter had just been diagnosed with a mental illness, and Charlene was given guardianship of her granddaughter.

In the midst of this, she was dealt another devastating blow when the house she had lived in for 20 years was sold to a new owner who did not want to continue renting it. Due to her income and the high cost of apartments on Cape Cod, Charlene’s housing options were limited.

With nowhere else go to, she looked to HAC for guidance, working with caseworker AnnMarie Torrey to find housing not only for her, but her entire family.

Torrey steered Charlene to Massachusetts’ new HomeBASE program which assists people who are homeless, facing eviction or those living in subsidized hotel or motel rooms paid for by the state, helping them find secure housing. Thanks to the program and HAC’s help, Charlene was able to move into a new condo with her granddaughter, staying there for two years.

During that time, she continued to work with Torrey, filling out applications for Section 8 subsidized housing. That persistence paid off as she was able to be placed in a new apartment in Centerville, all while she continues to wait for her Section 8 voucher.

“Because Charlene was diligent in filling out her forms, her name came to the top of the MRVP (Section 8) list which qualified her for extended subsidy,” Torrey said. “She now pays only 40% of her income for housing.”

For Charlene, HAC has been a blessing, providing her family a safety net when they needed it most. It does not “just give you a place to live, it enables you to get our life in order so that things are as they should be,” she explained. “You can pick yourself up and have the strength to get to a good place like we are now.”

Today, Charlene and her family are thriving. Her daughter received treatment for her illness and has since moved in, making Charlene’s dreams come true. “All three of us are doing very well and thanks to the assistance of HAC and their programs, it literally saved three lives,” she said. “Three people’s lives would have been torn apart if not for their assistance and I’m truly grateful to have received that help.”

Learn more about the HAC project Cornell University students did

on their alternative spring break this year by clicking this link.

Tags: alternative spring break, HACbeat, Section 8, Cornell University, AnnMarie Torrey, HomeBASE, HAC

Cornell Students Commandeer HACbeat

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, May 08, 2015 @ 03:25 PM
DSC 0780 resized 600Cornell University students Joon Jeong (from left), Allison Laphen, Irene Bae, Anum Chaudhry, Breanna Ross and Nupur Bhatt spent their alternative spring break “hijacking” HACbeat, creating content for this month’s newsletter. 

Staff in HAC’s communications and development department have the chance to interact with a wide array of clients and colleagues with incredible stories, ranging from tragedy to triumph and everything in between.

“We get to see people at all different levels,” Julie Wake, the director of that department, said. “It is very exciting, especially because people are very interesting to me.”

Wake made the statement on the first of a four-day session in which six students from Cornell University had a chance to “hijack” HACbeat, taking over the responsibility of writing HAC’s monthly newsletter from Chris Kazarian and meeting the nonprofit’s employees who deliver housing services as well as clients who are the recipients of their hard work.

It provided the Ivy League contingent with an opportunity to immerse themselves in HAC culture, whether it was learning about the Cape Homes program that assists the region’s homeless from client services manager Anne Marie Peters or talking with shelter clients like Connie Pinkney about their dreams for the future. Pinkney’s goal was simple: she wants to one day be able to take care of her husband.

The students saw the gritty side of Cape Cod, in the form of a homeless couple, roughly the same age as them, staying at The Village at Cataumet, trying to get back on their feet, not just for themselves, but for the baby they were expecting. What they took out of these types of interactions during their short time here was not despair, but something much more positive.

“I found them to have a lot of hope considering their situation,” said Anum Chaudhry, a master’s student at Cornell. “They were ready to fix their situation for their baby. That was really an inspiration for me. And they were so young which was interesting because they have experienced more in life although they are younger than me.”

The trip leader, Breanna Ross, a sophomore from New Jersey studying industrial and labor relations, agreed, saying that she saw a resilience in those that HAC serves. “It seems like there are a lot of good people who had trouble in life and are going through bad times and are doing everything they can to get out of it and continue to live their life and live their dreams,” she said.

Junior Nupur Bhatt of Indianapolis, acknowledged that HAC has been successful in helping clients realize their dreams. “Clearly what you are doing is making a difference,” she said.

DSC 7349 resized 600Trip leader Breanna Ross with one of the cookies she baked, in the shape of Cape Cod, at HAC's Angel House shelter in Hyannis. 

Over the course of their time at HAC, the students – sophomore Allison Laphen of Rittman, Ohio, freshman Irene Bae of Long Island, New York, and sophomore Joon Jeong of Dallas, Texas, rounded out the group - had a chance to explore the NOAH Shelter, bake Easter-themed cookies with mothers at Angel House, go ice skating in Hyannis with children living in shelter and visit the National Seashore.

The trip concluded on Thursday with a dinner in which the group shared photos and stories from their alternative spring break with HAC staff and local Cornell alumni Barbara Conolly of Mashpee, and John Banner of Falmouth. HAC CEO Rick Presbrey expressed a genuine appreciation for students and the 11-year collaboration between the college and the nonprofit. “You all are impressive folks,” he said. “It is so amazing to meet people who have their heads screwed on right.”

While he acknowledged the agency always learns something valuable from the students that visit HAC on an annual basis every spring, it was apparent that this year’s group experienced a similar enlightenment. “I wanted to do something useful on my spring break instead of being home and wasting time,” Nupur said. “I learned a lot and I’ve definitely been inspired to continue volunteering within my own community.”

DSC 7396 resized 600The Cornell contingent were joined at their farewell dinner by alumni from the Cape Cod chapter of the Ivy League school Barbara Conolly (far left) of Mashpee, and John Banner (far right) of Falmouth. 

Tags: Cornell, alternative spring break, HACbeat, Rick Presbrey

A Decade-Long Relationship Between HAC and Cornell

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, May 21, 2014 @ 10:28 AM

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This year Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) is not only celebrating its 40th anniversary, it is also observing another important milestone – a 10-year relationship with Cornell University which has been sending a small contingent of students to Cape Cod for one week every April to help address the region’s housing issues.

“I think the primary value is that it provides a real sense of optimism,” HAC CEO Rick Presbrey said of what the students from the Ivy League college have brought to the Cape’s non-profit since 2005. “First of all, I am always impressed with what a wonderful group of kids they are. They give up their spring break so it gives you optimism for the future. And they accomplish a lot in such a short period of time so it gives inspiration to us on what can be accomplished.”

This year six Cornell students made the trek from Ithaca, New York to Hyannis, to educate juniors and seniors at Barnstable High School and Dennis-Yarmouth High School on the importance of financial literacy, covering everything from creating personal budgets to balancing wants versus needs.

“It was a thrill to see how the high school students were open to hearing from people a few years ahead of them and so willing to ask questions,” said Cheryl Kramer, HAC’s manager for consumer education, who was responsibile for overseeing the Cornell students’ work throughout the week.

Catherine Richards, an English teacher at Barnstable, said the Cornell presentation served as an invaluable resource for her students. “I think it is exciting for them to learn from their peers as opposed to a teacher,” she said.

And she said the topic is paramount, particularly for those students who want to continue living on the Cape past high school or college. “I teach a whole unit on the cost of living with the idea of how to save in order to get a good house, but also how much it will cost to stay on Cape Cod and raise a family and have children,” she said.  

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The Cornell students which included freshman Breanna Ross (industrial and labor relations) of South Brunswick, New Jersey; sophomore Grace An (policy analysis and management) of Anaheim, California; sophomore Christine Chow (biological sciences) of San Jose, California; sophomore Caleb Hulbert (human biology, health and society) of Gloversville, New York; junior Pragyashree (Prag) Sharma Basyal (biology & society) of Baltimore, Maryland; Zeyu Yao of China (master’s in civil and environmental engineering), also attended HAC’s annual meeting, toured the NOAH Shelter in Hyannis, and spent a few hours making crafts and eating pizza with children at the Village at Cataumet.

For Caleb, the most rewarding aspect of the trip was spending time at the Village at Cataumet where he decorated picture frames with four-year-old Lillian. “She really made a huge impact on me,” he said. “You don’t think of her as being homeless. You think about her as ‘Lillian.’ She is just like anyone else. It was really eye-opening because you tend to think about homelessness in terms of statistics.”

Grace had a similar reaction following her visit to the NOAH Shelter. “It was really tough just seeing the space where they were living,” she said. “It was very emotional for me because homelessness is a big issue in my [hometown]. It gives you a lot of respect for the volunteers and staff who work there.”

Though she is unsure of what she will do after college, Grace has expressed an interest in working for a non-profit. “I feel like it is a really meaningful way to live life, especially if it has as big of an impact as HAC,” she said.

Tags: Cornell, alternative spring break, Prag Basyal, HAC, Christine Chow, housing assistance corporation, Rick Presbrey

Cornell Student Shows There is No Right Way to Achieve Success

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Sat, May 10, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

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Prag bonded with Lillian at the Village at Cataumet.

On October 5, 2009 Pragyashree (Prag) Sharma Basyal celebrated her 18th birthday by coming to America with her family from Nepal. When she graduates from Cornell University in May 2015 she plans on fulfilling her American dream by becoming a US citizen.

“It is my graduation gift to myself,” she said to five of her peers situated inside the Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) headquarters in Hyannis, where the group volunteered during their school’s spring break.

Prag’s path to receiving her diploma is unusual and one that goes beyond having to adjust to a new country and its customs and norms. Her route was filled with obstacles that required daily sacrifices she considered normal, but many in her generation would not.

Shortly after arriving in the United States her parents got sick so Prag did what came natural – she cared for them with the help of her younger brother. “They are my first priority because I believe they did what they could and gave me everything they could when I was a child,” she said. “I think this is the time I have to give back: when they need me the most. I feel it is my responsibility because they took care of me when I was young.”

She balanced her commitment to her parents with finding a job, receiving her certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant through Baltimore City Community College, which allowed her to work at a long-term care facility and gave her the funds to support not only her needs, but to supplement those of her family.

On top of that she enrolled at the Community College of Baltimore County, juggling family and work obligations with school, graduating last year with an associates degree in biology and serving as the president of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Her academic success caught the attention of Cornell University which offered her a full scholarship. “I never expected I was going to get in,” Prag said, humbly. “When the financial package came in I pinched myself.”

Currently a junior, Prag is enjoying her first year at Cornell where she is in the Ivy League school’s biology & society program, with a minor in global health.

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Julie Wake, HAC's communications director, chats with Prag during a luncheon for the Cornell students. 

While on Cape Cod Prag shared her story with students at Barnstable High School and Dennis-Yarmouth High School, providing a shining example of how success does not have to come at the expense of others, especially family.

After one presentation, Prag had a high school student come up to her and express how much “she was inspired because of my story,” she said. “That really motivated me.”

As Prag continues on her path, there will undoubtedly be others who will find inspiration and realize that there is no one correct way to achieve your goals.

For Prag that goal is to one day become a doctor and use her degree to help the types of clients HAC sees on a daily basis. “I want to work for patients who do not have the opportunity to go to a hospital or have the ability to pay for it,” she said.

This summer she will experience the rewards of that kind of work when she takes part in Cornell’s eight-week summer program in Tanzania that will offer her the opportunity to combine scholarly work with the practical through a service-related project.

She is already preparing for that trip by learning Swahili which will only add to the growing list of languages she can speak: Nepalese, English, Hindi, Urdu and Spanish.

As to why she wants to get into medicine, Prag credited her parents, who both worked in similar fields in Nepal, for providing that direction. “I just saw my parents working in a hospital and helping others and how satisfied they were when somebody had been saved,” she said.

Tags: Cornell, alternative spring break, Prag Basyal, HAC

HAC: A Model for Addressing Housing Issues Nationwide

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, May 07, 2014 @ 09:45 AM

Dino Headshot

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary the Housing Assistance Corporation serves as a model for other non-profits and individuals looking to address housing issues throughout the country.

And that is exactly how Dino Tsipouroglou took advantage of his time on Cape Cod while accompanying six Cornell University students on their alternative spring break at the beginning of April.

Tsipouroglou, who served as the group’s driver during their trip, used his four days at HAC as a learning experience to help in efforts to improve the plight of the homeless population in his hometown of Ithaca, New York.

Those efforts have translated into the creation of Second Wind Cottages to house the chronically homeless. Located two miles from Ithaca in nearby Newfield, Tsipouroglou said, six units have already been built and were filled shortly after completion this past January. Another 12 more units will be added along with a community center.

The project started last summer and Tsipouroglou anticipated it should be complete in two years.

It is being funded primarily through private donations with backing from local churches, and they have tapped into crowdfunding on Indiegogo to raise over $14,000 for the cottages.

As he supports efforts to see the project to fruition, Tsipouroglou is also working as a case manager for the homeless.  The best part of that work, he said, “is I’m helping to be an advocate for the homeless and breaking down the traditional stereotypes about them like they are homeless because of their choices.”

This was the second year in a row that Tsipouroglou visited Cape Cod with the Cornell students, and he said he plans on taking the lessons from HAC and applying it to what he is doing in Ithaca. “The work HAC is doing is incredible,” he said. “I am so impressed with the scope and size of its operation, the prevention of homelessness and all they do with housing.” 

Tags: Cornell, alternative spring break, HAC, Dino Tsipouroglou

Cornell Student Returns to HAC for Alternative Spring Break

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, May 06, 2014 @ 03:42 PM

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Cornell University sophomore Christine Chow (right) decorates handmade picture frames with Nellyda and Josmalyz at the Village at Cataumet.

For all but one of the six Cornell students who assisted Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) in April, it was their first introduction to life on this side of the canal.

But San Jose’s Christine Chow, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences, is one step closer than her peers to attaining true Cape Codder status, having visited here last year as part of Cornell University Public Service Center’s alternative spring break program.

Every April the Ivy League college encourages its students to spend their spring break giving back to communities as close as Ithaca, New York, and as far away as Orlando, Florida. Over the past 10 years Cornell has sent a contingent to Cape Cod to assist HAC in carrying out its mission.

In 2013 Chow was part of a team that was tasked to improve marketing efforts for HAC’s gift card program that helps to fund the non-profit’s Project Prevention which is aimed at keeping residents struggling with mortgage payments or bills in their homes. 

This year Chow returned as the team leader, working with her peers, under the guidance of Cheryl Kramer, the department manager of HAC’s consumer education center, to create a presentation on financial literacy targeted to students at Barnstable High School and Dennis-Yarmouth High School.

During the two weeklong stints Chow has spent at HAC, she has developed a deep respect for the wide variety of programs aimed at helping the region’s neediest residents. “It has been interesting to see how HAC has such a big presence on the Cape in addressing its housing issues,” she said, adding that she has also enjoyed witnessing the dedication of HAC staff. “I am always impressed, both last year and this year, at how positive, welcoming and enthusiastic the HAC employees are.”

Though she is unsure whether she will attend an alternative spring break as a junior or senior, Chow hopes to continue finding ways to help others, regardless of their socioeconomic status, as she plans on pursuing a career in the medical field as a doctor. “I really like the scientific approach and using science to be able to help people because health is an issue that impacts all people’s lives and their quality of life,” she said.

Learn more about last year's project that Cornell University students worked on for HAC here. And look for more stories about this year's Cornell spring break trip to Cape Cod in this month's HACbeat! 

Tags: Cornell, alternative spring break, Project Prevention, HAC, Christine Chow