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Rob Brooks helps build Habitat home

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With Governor’s Scholars at Bellarmine University

LOUISVILLE, KY -- On July 14, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer joined Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville at 2609 West Madison Street in the Russell neighborhood to celebrate construction of the organization’s 377th home in the Louisville area. Bedford resident Rob Brooks was among a number of high school students from the Governor’s Scholars Program who constructed the home in four weeks. Brooks will be a senior this fall at Trimble County High School. Governor’s Scholars from Carroll County, Eminence, Henry County, Oldham County, North Oldham, South Oldham and St. Xavier high schools also assisted in the project  

Established in 1983, the Governor’s Scholars Program celebrated its 30th summer in Kentucky by partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build the home as a service project.

“This collaboration between Habitat for Humanity and these young Governor’s Scholars is something our entire city and state should celebrate,” Fischer said. “Two of our top goals are for Louisville to be a city of lifelong learning and to make it an even more compassionate community than it already is by encouraging community service. It’s exciting that Habitat gave these students an opportunity to learn the value of service and continuous learning, and carry that spirit back to their hometowns across the Commonwealth.”

This project supports the Governor’s Scholars Program’s mission to nurture Kentucky’s future civic and economic leaders. This summer, 360 Governor’s Scholars lived and studied on Bellarmine University’s campus. The students, representing 93 Kentucky counties, joined the 50 members of the program’s faculty and staff to volunteer 2,025 hours to build the house.

“This great achievement demonstrates that the Governor’s Scholars Program continues to achieve its goal of building Kentucky’s future, not only by enhancing the leadership skills of our Commonwealth’s future generation, but most importantly by helping others achieve their goals,” said Aris Cedeño, the program’s executive director.

The new homeowners, Omar Muse and Ubah Adan, are originally from Somalia. They completed more than 400 sweat equity hours by working on their home and the homes of others as a requirement for becoming Habitat homeowners. On Saturday, project leader Chuck Sgro presented the family with keys to their new home, after which Muse and Adan invited visitors inside for a tour of the home.

“Our new home will make it possible to gain the freedom we lost when we started living in rental housing,” Adan said. “We also plan to continue volunteering with Habitat from now on. Our greatest accomplishment will be helping others who are less fortunate. One day, we will establish our own organization, whether it’s building houses or doing relief work locally and internationally.”

“We thank God for this opportunity, and for all the people who make it possible, for the homeowner program, and for the volunteers who contribute their time, money and sweat to Habitat in order to build affordable homes,” Muse said.

Through donations of money, materials and volunteer labor, Habitat for Humanity was able to build the home in four weeks and sell it at an affordable price. Muse and Adan purchased the home with a zero interest loan, and their monthly mortgage payments will be used to build more Habitat houses.

The Governor’s Scholars Program is a summer residential program for more than 1,050 outstanding high school students in Kentucky who are rising seniors. The Program originated in 1983 and its mission is to enhance Kentucky’s next generation of civic and economic leaders. 

Representing all 120 Kentucky counties, students who are selected attend the program without charge on one of the GSP’s three college sites. Currently, those sites are Bellarmine University in Louisville, Murray State University in Murray, and Centre College in Danville.

In the spirit of partnership, the Office of the Governor, the Kentucky State Legislature, and private enterprise come together to provide the financial support for the program.

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville is a Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1985, Habitat has helped nearly 400 families and individuals by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes in Metro Louisville and Oldham County.