Five-year-old Sarah Moo has already selected a wall near the kitchen in her new home where she wants to hang pictures she drew.
High school senior Shreela McFaddan helped build that home over the past 10 months and then parlayed her new homebuilding skills into a job right out of high school as an assistant project manager with a local construction company.
This modest 1,400-square-foot house in West Boise is giving a refugee family a permanent home and the 28 Meridian high school students who built it valuable construction skills and a sense of community.
After fleeing war-torn Myanmar, the Moo family arrived in Boise in November 2005. On June 1 they will move into the Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity home.
The Moos are happy to call Boise home.
It is a peaceful place, said Plei Moo, Sarahs mother.
McFaddan smiles as she watches the Moos walk through their new home the home she helped build.
I love this class. I love being part of the work, said McFaddan, 18, who graduates from Rocky Mountain High School this month.
McFaddan and classmate Julia de la Bretonne, 17, said their families often call on them to put their new construction skills to use around the house making repairs.
They call me Ms. Fix-It, joked Bretonne, who is a senior at Renaissance High School.
The Moos house is the latest Habitat for Humanity structure built by Meridian high school students in what has become a partnership of more than a decade, said Mark Enger, construction instructor at Renaissance High.
The nonprofit Habitat supplies the site and materials; the Meridian school district supplies the labor; students gain on-the-job experience; and a family who otherwise may not be able to purchase a house gets a new home. As part of the program, the family provides 500 hours of sweat equity on the home and other Habitat for Humanity projects.
This has been really worthwhile, Meridian Superintendent Linda Clark said at a ceremony Wednesday to present the Moo family with the keys to the home. We are thrilled that it is such an enduring partnership and that it keeps expanding.
Next fall, Enger and students in the school districts Residential Construction Professional Technical Magnet program will break ground on a home in a new 2.5-acre, 15-home Habitat for Humanity development in West Boise.
The Moos home is the 52nd Habitat for Humanity home in the Boise area.
McFaddan said she often thought of the Moos while she worked on their home. She thought about how important a permanent home is for the family. When she got frustrated with a particular task, she said, she would step back, think about why she was doing it and resolve to do top-notch work.
Enger beams with pride as he talks about his students successful year. Several students received gold medals in the state SkillsUSA competition in April and are advancing to the national competition June 21 in Kansas City, Mo. Competition categories include carpentry, masonry and community service.
SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The national organization serves teachers and high school and college students preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations.
McFaddan and de la Bretonne are part of a team competing in the community service project category showcasing the Habitat for Humanity house it just completed.
Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428