North Central College - Naperville, IL

Students volunteer during spring break

Print Email Share

Football players with Habitat for Humanity in S.C.
Football players with Habitat for Humanity in S.C.

March 8, 2011—During North Central College’s spring break, March 17-26, more than 60 students will travel across the country to work as volunteers on six different service projects.

Four Habitat for Humanity trips are planned. One trip includes 15 student-athletes, representing six varsity sports, who will travel to Mobile County, Ala., to build houses for families that were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Another seven football players will travel to Johns Island, S.C., six volunteers are headed to Coatesville, Pa., and 12 to Tulsa, Okla., to also repair and build houses with Habitat.

Two more student trips will head to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., to work with the Center for Student Missions in those cities. Students will live in the cities, learn about the communities and become part of the solutions of those cities by offering their time and energy and helping with urban outreach work and afterschool programs, soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

These trips, with the exception of the student-athletes serving with Habitat for Humanity in Mobile and Johns Island, are coordinated through North Central’s Office of Ministry and Service. While many college students choose to spend spring break pampering themselves at the beach, many at North Central are choosing to invest their time helping people in need through service trips.

Kaitlin Ballard, a junior who’s leading a trip to Washington, D.C., explained why she’s returning to volunteer with Center for Student Missions. “I experience the greatest growth and learning when working in areas outside my comfort zone. This was especially true in this outreach ministry to the homeless. We met the homeless where they are and in whatever condition they may be, as opposed to them coming to us. One day, another girl and I walked up to a stranger and listened to his life story for about an hour, visited the shelter where he stays and introduced him to members of our group. This unplanned experience made a difference in each of our lives.”

The students and staff members are:

Habitat for Humanity: Johns Island, S.C.
Joe Guenther, a sophomore from Shorewood, Ill.
Ryan Hambleton, a junior from Ottawa, Ill.  
Joey Michals, a sophomore from Frankfort, Ill.  
Kevin Pashakarnis, a junior from Burbank, Ill.  
Alex Pirela, a sophomore from West Chicago
Austin Sadnick, a sophomore from LaSalle, Ill
Joe Schneiderbauer, a senior from Sterling, Ill.
Gary Ireland, director of student involvement and assistant dean of students

Habitat for Humanity: Tulsa, Okla.
Kat Hamilton, a senior from Evansville, Wis., and Kathryn Braun, a senior from Naperville, are student leaders
John Adkins, a freshman from Lombard
John Focosi, a freshman from South Barrington, Ill.
Jordan Fritz, a freshman from Mendota, Ill.
Rachael Hancz, a junior from Canton, Mich.
David Hess, a freshman from Naperville
Zachary Howell, a freshman from Lemont, Ill.
Alexander Mann, a freshman from Glenview, Ill.
Peter Mann, a freshman from Glenview, Ill.
Abbey Smith, a senior from Mineral Point, Wis.
Jacob Steele, a freshman from Peru, Ill.
Mark Carbonara, area hall director, Seager Residence Hall

Habitat for Humanity: Coatesville, Pa. 
Emanuel Pavlopoulos, a sophomore from Naperville, and Luke Kinney, a junior from Aurora, are student leaders
Jaimelynn Brand, a junior from Lisle, Ill.
Christian Horst, a freshman from Tiskilwa, Ill.
Nicholas Pavlopoulos, a sophomore from Naperville
Jocelyn Wilcox, a freshman from Bourbonnais, Ill.
Veronica Robledo, secretary, student affairs/student work program

Habitat for Humanity: student-athletes in Mobile, Ala.
[Follow their blog at]
Kelly Ator, a senior from Franklin Grove, Ill.
Jenae Harner, a sophomore from Effingham, Ill.
James Hoffman, a junior from Channahon, Ill.
Kellie Holpuch, a freshman from Oswego, Ill.
Theotis James, a junior from Kankakee, Ill.
Michelle Lazowski, a junior from Tinley Park, Ill.
Melissa Majeski, a junior from Lake in the Hills, Ill.
Trevor Maus, a freshman from Portland, Mich.
Alexandra Nelson, a freshman from Yorkville, Ill.
Colleeen Oakes, a senior from Morton Grove, Ill.
Eric Oyster, a freshman from Plainfield, Ill.
Donald Smith, a senior from Winfield, Ill.
Spencer Stanek, a sophomore from Mokena, Ill.
Mackenzie Wenger, a freshman from Davis, Ill.
Andrew Zobac, a junior from Canton, Ill.
Hannah Weiss, graduate assistant men’s cross country
Shawna Jansen, graduate assistant men’s and women’s tennis, women’s golf
Joe Norton, graduate assistant wrestling coach

Center for Student Missions: Philadelphia
Carolyn Englund, a junior from Lemont, and Alicia Zimmerman, a junior from Wheaton, are student leaders
Sarah Allen, a junior from Lockport, Ill.
Alyssa Allgood, a freshman from Westmont, Ill.
Adam Goc, a sophomore from River Forest, Ill.
Katherine Liddy, a junior from Naperville
Jennifer Pope, a junior from Addison, Ill.
Kayleigh Pryzgoda, a junior from Gurnee, Ill.
Corinne Schillerstrom, a junior from Naperville
Chris Smith, graduate assistant, fine arts box office management

Center for Student Missions: Washington, D.C.
Megan Scanlan, a junior from Geneva, Ill., and Kaitlin Ballard, a junior from Galva, Ill., are student leaders
Emily Cardwell, a sophomore from Naperville
Alexander Diller, a senior from Chatsworth, Ill.
David Johnson, a junior from Rock Island, Ill.
Shelby McGlasson, a sophomore from Coal City, Ill.
Ivana Miljic, a senior from Wheaton
Maci Mitchell, a freshman from Sterling, Ill.
Carly Schroeder, a sophomore from Yorkville
Brandon Kurzweg, interim assistant director of student involvement

Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”—North Central College is just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit to learn more.