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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A crew of students is using the construction skills they learned in high school to serve the community.

If you heard a group of high school guys from the mountains was visiting the coast, you’d expect them to be headed straight to the beach. However this group is serving a different purpose.

“This is not costing us a cent, and I could not have afforded to have done this myself, so we’re very blessed, and we’re very honored to have them here today,” homeowner Mary Johnson said.

Johnson’s daughter Lynn was born with spina bifida. Despite the hardships of Lynn’s condition, Mary says their lives have been full of blessings.

This week one of those blessings is in the form of free labor to make their home more handicap accessible.

Mark Lowman, a teacher from Draughn High School in Valdese, brought a crew of his students to work on Johnson’s house.

“These guys get to see what they’ve learned put into practice, and they start it. You know, they get to design it all the way to completion, which is giving them job skills,” Lowman said.

Lowman first teaches the students about basic safety, and they move on to working hands on with tools and equipment. This week they’re using the skills they learned in the classroom to build a deck and a handicap ramp that lynn will can use without assistance.

“Part of our mission statement is not only to produce a student who’s going to be viable in the community but to produce a young gentleman that’s going to be a part of that,” Lowman said.

Despite the heat and constant swatting at bugs, Lowman expects the new deck to be finished with the ramp installed before the team packs up and heads back home Friday.


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