The Ripken Foundation teamed up with Niagara Cares to transform parts of the Hazelton Area High School in PA. Dozens of volunteers from the Ripken Foundation and Niagara Cares came together to lend a hand.
These groups renovated several of the school's facilities, including the weight room, faculty lounge, and ROTC room. "The Hazelton Area High School is 31 years old; it's an older building. It doesn't look old, but there are certain areas that do need to be renovated," said Hazelton Area Principal Tony Conston.
Volunteers spent time putting together gym equipment and furniture and working on important upgrades at no cost to the district. "It benefits the students, and it benefits the teachers. The idea of volunteerism is outstanding, and a number of the volunteers are former students, so it is good to see them. They are coming in, and they are excited about being able to renovate certain areas of this building," said Principal Conston.
One those volunteers, Candice Pop, graduated in 1998 and now works for Niagara Bottling Company with three kids who now attend the same school. "It's been a wonderful experience. I got to walk the halls, see where my locker was, and enjoy the atmosphere of being back in high school again," said Pop.
Launched in 2014, the goal of our Community Enhancement Project initiative was to engage employees of major corporate partners and to revitalize community spaces in need of updating or repair. "We're all about providing kids with equal opportunities, and we really want to fill the gaps where we see them," said Ripken Foundation Assistant Director of Programs and Grants Courtney Stephens. She continued, "Our renovation projects are focused on healthy lifestyles, which is a program we started with Niagara Cares focused on bringing quality programming and fitness to students."