College students from Midwest help local organization renovate house

Published: Jan. 11, 2017 at 6:48 PM EST
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A local organization is working to improve communities the area. REACH is teaming up with college students on a new project and putting them to work during their winter break.

Andrianna Peterson of Denison University, said "It's got a lot of energy involved, being able to rip the houses apart, which is kind of fun."

Peterson is one of 12 Denison University students taking a week of the winter break to help rebuild a home in Southeast Roanoke.

Peterson said, "Community service and community development has always been something that was really important to me."

The students are working with REACH on the organization's first home being renovated from scratch. The goal of the program is to engage people in creating better communities.The students are the first group to help get the ball rolling on renovations.

Jerome Sheriff of Denison University, said "I really like the programs they have and maybe I can take some of the plans they have here and take them back to my community."

Tim Dayton of REACH, said "They come to give back and the students are all different majors and have different experiences. It is awesome to get to know them and its awesome for them to get to know people locally."

The students leave Saturday, but they say their time in Southwest Virginia has been rewarding. Peterson said, "I won't be able to see the finished product but I'm excited to see a low-income family have a place to stay."

REACH will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday to celebrate the start of the renovation. REACH hopes to have a family in the home by September.