High School Students Build Tiny Homes For Homeless Veterans

Bernie Tafoya
April 05, 2019 - 2:05 pm
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- High school students in the northwestern suburbs are teaming up to give homeless veterans in Georgia a chance at a new life.

Rolling Meadows High School junior Estafani Mejia, 17, said she "feels so happy" to be working with students from Hersey High School to build walls for tiny homes for homeless veterans. 

Rolling Meadows teacher/administrator Dave Wietrzak runs the program and said, "they’re going to build the entire houses here, all the tiny homes here, and then they’re going to send them to Savannah, Georgia where they’ll be assembled."

The homes will be built as part of a Veterans Village of 72 tiny homes started by the Nine-Line Foundation, according to Hersey teacher Jimmy Miks who said, "The goal is the veterans would then have tiny homes that are transitional. They’re not staying there. They’d get job training.

"The students here are framing the walls that will be shipped on a semi—we’re shipping them in May and then there’s a team in Savannah, they’ll boom, boom, boom, put it together like a kit, like you just got a Lego set."

Rolling Meadows junior Omar Lopez, 17, loves being part of the program.

"It’s pretty cool knowing that we can build something for like people who are, the veterans who are homeless and need it," he said.

High school students in the northwestern suburbs are teaming up to give homeless veterans in Georgia a chance at a new life.
WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya

Hersey senior Em Tchorz echoes those sentiments.

"It’s going for a good cause. It’s going for people who were willing to risk their lives to help protect our country so I think that’s really awesome to know that we can give back to them."

Rolling Meadows Principal Eileen Hart calls it all, "phenomenal."  She said it's also exciting that the teens understand what it's all about.

"They understand that it’s about helping people, soldiers in need and that’s where I think they’re connecting with community service and what they’re learning in the academic setting really does apply in the real world," she said.

High school students in the northwestern suburbs are teaming up to give homeless veterans in Georgia a chance at a new life.
WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya

"You see the collaboration, the communication, double-checking their math, taking ideas from one another, problem solving. It’s so relevant. It’s real-world experience."

Miks said the students are trying to raise a few thousand dollars to ship the tiny homes to Georgia. He also suggests people donate to the Nine-Line Foundation.