Cleveland, OH

Tri-C's Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Scholars partner with Habitat for Humanity

Paul Krasinic

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CLEVELAND, OH — In collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, students from the Cuyahoga Community College Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Scholars Academy are giving their all to help Cleveland neighborhoods that are in need of their services.

For six years now, Habitat for Humanity has been active in the Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood of the city. This neighborhood was picked out as an area of focus through a set of specific criteria.

Throughout the Spring 2021 semester, a team of Mandel Scholars used similar criteria to recognize three additional neighborhoods, which are then submitted in the form of a report to the organization at the end of the semester. These neighborhoods were Kinsman, Clark-Fulton, and Hough.

The partnership started last year when the Mandel scholars took the initiative to approach the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. At the time, the president and CEO of Habitat John Habat, was a little skeptical.

They finally decided that if they were to partner, they needed a real project to work on. This was to assure that at the end of the day, the students can get course credit as well as hands-on experience and a new perspective of working against the challenges faced by Cleveland.

And eventually, the students did not disappoint.

“I was impressed with the depth they went into in terms of research and the great questions they asked. It was great working with young, respectful students who were so focused,” said Bob Whitney, neighborhood planning manager for Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. “And it is so rare that these students were able to do something that will have a real impact on the neighborhoods of Cleveland.”

The Mandel Scholars Academy team included Emily Havener, Mariam Sajjas, Kara Smosny, Chloe Zelek, Kait Berg, Lisa Santiago, Lynda Amba, and Anamaria Smith.

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