Job Corps Students Participate in ‘Extreme Makeover’
The Fred G. Acosta and Montgomery Job Corps programs of the Home Builders Institute participated separately in two episodes of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” last month to help improve the lives of two deserving families.
HBI’s Job Corps training program are often involved in onsite community service.
For its sixth season, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is designating the homes it builds for “heroes” — families who have made significant contributions to their community despite living under difficult conditions.
Fred G. Acosta and the Bell Family in Tucson
At infancy, Lizzie Bell, 14, was diagnosed with Diamond-Blackfan anemia, a rare congenital blood disorder. Despite her condition and young age, Bell has made a strong impact in the Tucson community, encouraging people to donate blood and speaking at local schools about her experience with blood transfusions. Her family created the John P. Bell Family Foundation to raise awareness of the need for blood donations; the foundation also regularly organizes blood drives.
As the Bells continued to focus on their community service activities, their home began to crumble. Their current residence became plagued with cracked concrete, mold and termite infestation.
After identifying the Bell family, “Extreme Makeover” reached out to Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA) member John Wesley Miller Companies, known on the set as “the purple shirts,” to be the project’s lead general contractor. Several additional association member companies served as onsite general contractors.
Miller and SAHBA Past President Art Flagg, in turn, invited HBI instructor John Gallagher’s plumbing class to participate in the build. SAHBA is the sponsor of Fred G. Acosta’s NAHB Student Chapter.
The nine Job Corps students working on the home were originally scheduled for just five hours of one day. However, the contractors were so impressed with their performance that they added them to the schedule for the remainder of the week.
Students moved furniture, dug trenches, planted trees, provided general landscaping and helped wherever they were needed.
“We were very fortunate to be part of the ‘Extreme Makeover’ build,” said Gallagher. “It was an awesome experience. How many times do you get to participate in an event like this?”
The Tucson episode will air on Sunday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m..
Montgomery Job Corps and the Jordan Family in Alabama
For their strength in coping with tragedy and devotion to improving the lives of young people in their community, Monica and Brady Jordan were selected by “Extreme Makeover” as recipients of a new home in Montgomery, Ala.
The Jordans are the parents of a daughter, Brittany, who is a senior at the University of Alabama, and they are raising three grandchildren following the devastating loss of their eldest daughter to domestic abuse in 1995 and their son to a drunk driver in 2003.
In honor of their children, Monica and Brady have become strong advocates of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and prominent speakers on the subject, hosting meetings in their home. Monica also began working for the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission.
The Jordans open their home weekly to more than 100 community youths who need a safe place. However, their busy schedules and regular donations to charitable causes prevented them from keeping up the maintenance of their house, which fell into disrepair.
"Extreme Makeover" stepped in and enlisted Aronov Homes, a member of the Greater Montgomery HBA, to build a new home for the Jordans.
HBI carpentry instructor Jeffery Potts and his class at Montgomery Job Corps worked a total of 150 hours over four days on the building site. Students hauled lumber, loaded and unloaded trucks, helped raise walls and set a stairway.
“This is the type of project we hope our students can be involved in,” said HBI Chairman M.M. "Mike" Weiss. “Hands-on, real-world experience like this is critical for them to learn their way around a job site. Knowing their hard work can make such a palpable difference in the lives of these families also gave them a brief glimpse into what home building is all about.”
The Montgomery program airs on Sunday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m.
For more information on HBI’s Job Corps programs, e-mail Maria McIntyre at HBI, or call her at 800-795-7955 x8912.