Pritzker-Cousins Summer Youth Blitz ‘99 Unites Students, Breaks Barriers
Americus, Ga. - June 17, 1999 - High school students from San Leandro, Calif., Chicago, New Haven, Conn., and other cities are choosing to spend their summer vacations raising walls while breaking down stereotypes and cultural barriers. Through Habitat for Humanity International’s Pritzker-Cousins Summer Youth Blitz ‘99, these students will build two houses with people in need. The first group of 15 students will build a house June 19-July 2 in Anniston, Ala.; the second build will take place July 17-31 in Robbins, Tenn., with the help of 23 students.
Sponsored by the Pritzker-Cousins Foundation, this program will bring together economically advantaged and disadvantaged 16- to 18-year-old students from churches, high schools and youth organizations to blitz build an entire house in two weeks.
“Now more than ever, reconciliation is needed between groups of people who have a history of stereotyping each other,” said Steve Messinetti, director of the Campus Chapters and Youth Programs department at Habitat for Humanity International. “The Pritzker-Cousins Summer Youth Blitz brings together youth from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds and provides them with the opportunity to be reconciled and to work in harmony.”
In its sixth year, the Pritzker-Cousins Summer Youth Blitz ‘99 will expand the program for the first time to involve two different sites. This program aims to teach students the importance of community service and of giving a hand-up instead of a hand-out. By teaching the Pritzker-Cousins participants the value of differences and an appreciation for diversity, the students will leave the program more productive members of society.
“I have never in my life been in such a heavenly situation where such diverse people fit together so perfectly,” said participant Michelle Golden of Marist High School, Atlanta.
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing worldwide. Habitat brings together people with resources and people in need to build simple, decent, affordable houses. The homes are sold to those in need at no profit, through no-interest loans. Founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife Linda, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 75,000 houses, providing shelter for more than 375,000 people worldwide. It has affiliates in every state of the United States and in 63 other countries around the world.