Kimberly Phares is a junior at Vestavia Hills High School and has dedicated the time to organize a Habitat for Humanity chapter at her high school that has attracted participation from more than 10 percent of the student body. Kimberly first began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity through her church, eventually devoting the majority of her free time to building new homes for needy families.
“I felt satisfaction knowing that we were empowering families who reached out, not for a handout, but for a hammer to build their dreams, one nail at a time,” Kimberly said.
When she discovered that the organization had school chapters, she decided immediately to launch one at Vestavia Hills High. She recruited a faculty advisor, drafted a constitution and membership handbook, met with her city’s mayor, and launched a membership drive last summer. She also coordinated a fund-raising dinner, which yielded $6,000.
The group now sends up to 15 members out on new-home construction projects every Saturday, and hopes to become the first school chapter to totally fund and build a home in its first year. Kimberly also is reaching out to middle and elementary schools, and has spoken at other Alabama high schools, several of which are planning to start Habitat chapters of their own.