It's not the traditional spring break for these UCM students.
The UCM Breakers return home from these trips with a variety of skills, from learning how to install doors and windows in new construction to installing drywall on walls and ceilings. But they also return home with an understanding of the value of community service in enhancing the quality of life of society in general.
"We come home exhausted, but we realize we have done something for others," Phillup said. "For me, it helps me realize how fortunate I am to have grown up where I did, not having to worry about where the next meal was coming from. I never had to experience what many of the Habitat residents have experienced in their lives."
For Becker, who is preparing for a career in construction management, the hands-on experience is a major part of her college experience. She hopes to carry her experiences at UCM and with Breakers with her after graduation.
"It's a rewarding experience to travel with Breakers and work with Habitat for Humanity," she said, "but I hope I can take my experience with me wherever I go, helping people. There's plenty of work to be done at home, too."
For Abarca, his experiences on the Breakers trips are a reminder that people do want to help others.
"You see a lot of people giving in a lot of ways," he said. "You not only meet the volunteers with Habitat, but also meet the people from the community who provide meals for the volunteers, and the parishioners from the churches who provide housing. Helping often comes in a lot of different forms."