Students ‘build’ community goodwill

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Students ‘build’ community goodwill

Voice: May 2017

The Tech Ed Club at Northern High School is literally building community outreach.

Club adviser Jeffrey Mauck and about 12 high school students in the Northern York County School District have undertaken four projects this year that have aided individuals, a church, and a theater group as far away as Wilmington, Delaware.

Mauck, who has 22 years of teaching experience, including 20 at Northern, and 15 years of experience as a self-employed general contractor, started the idea last year.

Career and Technical education students and other teachers assisted a fellow student with his Eagle Scout project – building different shaped picnic tables and a train stand for a local library. They also helped Habitat for Humanity to restore a house in Red Lion for a family to occupy.

This year, Mauck got the club certified by the school district as an official club, and things just took off:

  • A shed was restored for a senior citizen. Students tore off the old doors, and rebuilt and replaced them, as well as restored other parts of the shed.
  • The club spent some Saturdays helping to build a wheelchair ramp in a private home.
  • As the Christmas season approached, Transcend Church in Harrisburg (about 15 miles from Northern), was amidst a renovation project, but was at least hoping to get its main sanctuary ready for Christmas services. Thanks to a helping hand from the club, it did. The students helped install floors and carpeting, and set things up for audiovisual equipment.
  • A theater-loving niece of Mauck’s in the Philadelphia area asked him if the club would help restore an old barn in nearby Wilmington, Delaware, into a theater. That led to the club’s first overnight trip to help with a stage and hallways and other traffic flow elements for patrons and actors.

“These kids – and we have some very skilled ones – really gave of themselves and their weekend time for others,” Mauck said. “The experience will be invaluable to them some day.”

He noted the district administration has “bent over backward” to encourage the club and to help with transportation and other issues.

“It’s great to get out and get experience with what we are learning,” said club member Ryan Evans, a senior. “It’s a good feeling, too, to be helping others.”

Fellow club member Matt Freyermuth gave a tip of the hat to Mauck for his commitment as well.

“He has a lot of experience, and some of the stuff he teaches us (in wood shop) is really cool,” Freyermuth said. “We get to apply it in the real world.”