In this ongoing Q&A series we aim to highlight students, faculty, and staff who engage with service at Princeton and beyond. This month, we spoke to Mikaylah Ladue ’20, co-director for Princeton’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Can you share a brief introduction for yourself and your project?
What are your responsibilities in Habitat for Humanity?
As a co-director of Habitat for Humanity and the founder of our newly revived chapter, I am responsible for overseeing and organizing all events being planned by the chapter, including build projects, fundraising programs, and advocacy events. I additionally plan to consult with faculty and on-campus groups to run presentations that highlight the impact of hunger and homelessness in our community. Importantly, I look forward to engaging with members of Habitat for Humanity in order to establish a sustainable and impactful campus chapter.
Why were you drawn to working with Habitat for Humanity?
I was drawn to Habitat for Humanity because I believe they have an incredibly important mission and a strong influence. Habitat is a global organization dedicated to providing shelter because impoverished living conditions often lead to a number of detrimental consequences, including financial instability and poor health. In fact, in 2009, Dr. Steven K. Galston, acting surgeon general of the United States, said that "a comprehensive, coordinated approach to healthy homes will result in the greatest public health impact." Stable and affordable housing is the foundation for building a sustainable, strong, and healthy life. It is important that we, as a campus, contribute to an organization that is capable of creating change in our local community.
Is there anything unique you can share about the Princeton chapter of Habitat for Humanity?
Since we are reviving the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity, we get to decide, as a group, how we want to proceed. This is incredibly exciting – we have full range to develop events that we are interested in and that we believe will have the greatest influence! That also means that we can experiment with different forms of advocacy, education, and fundraising in order to find what will mesh best with the campus community.
Why do you think it is important for Princeton students to be involved in service programs like Habitat for Humanity?
Engaging in community service has been the most positive and rewarding experience that I have had here on campus. Service allows for you to have a beneficial impact on individuals and communities. More importantly, it informs you of and exposes you to issues that are happening in your local community and gives you the opportunity to help mitigate these problems. Service is an extremely valuable way to spend your time and there are so many opportunities here on campus that students can pursue a project that truly interests them.