FSC Students Helping Restore and Revitalize Puerto Rico
June 25, 2018
NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative – a program launched by the governor’s office – is sending 500 SUNY/CUNY students to the hurricane-ravaged island for two weeks to clean, restore and build homes. And three of the student volunteers joining this exclusive group are from FSC.
It wasn’t easy making the list. Francis Gomera (bioscience), Gideon Sherry and Jason DelPesce (both architecture and construction management majors) were up against 2,000 other students for the first 90 spots. Among other criteria, they had to be in good academic standing and submit an essay describing why this service learning experience was important to them. They will be in Puerto Rico for two weeks, and earn academic credit.
The first student to go – Francis Gomera – returns this week. “It has been a truly amazing experience,” he said. “It is a great way to give back to people in need, and it helps me have a more diverse experience in life.”
Gideon Sherry, also a Navy veteran, leaves for the island the end of July. “I have a few reasons why I am going. First, to offer myself as a working body in the construction. Second, to gain experience in the different situations that the construction field creates. And lastly, to take an active part in the ongoing relief effort, while experiencing the culture in the area.”
Professor Orla Smyth LoPiccolo, chair of the Department of Architecture and Construction Management, said of Sherry and DelPesce: “They are both calm, professional students who are focused on their future careers in architecture, and being of service to others. As a strong supporter of service learning, I could not be more proud of Gideon and Jason for volunteering in SUNY’s Rebuild Puerto Rico initiative to share what they have learned in college, the Navy and the architectural and construction field.”