Local students head to Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

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For most students, a couple days off of school means a relaxing vacation, but for 25 students at Utica College their upcoming break is going to be some hard work.

“We’re loading up, we’re heading to Houston, Texas as part of the disaster relief from Hurricane Harvey,” said David Dubblede Construction Management director for Utica College. “We’ll leave here as soon as the bus is loaded and we’ll travel over night.”

The students all study construction management, and Dubblede said when they heard about an opportunity to partner with Samaritan’s Purse, a hurricane aid organization, everyone thought it would be a great experience.

“Going to college is more than just going to the classroom and taking tests. You’re preparing yourself for the rest of your lift, so why not take advantage of the opportunity?” Dubblede said.

And for him, it’s personal – Dubblede is originally from Houston.

“I’ve seen hurricanes and floods, and so I know what it’s like.”

Some students say they didn’t think twice about giving up part of their Columbus Day break to help.

“To me, is it worth giving up a few days of vacation to possibly impact a few lives? Absolutely,” said Jordan Leogrande, a junior construction management major.

He said all of the students are excited to be able to apply what they’ve learned to a real world experience, all the while helping those in need.

“We’re excited to go down and work hard and see things we haven’t, and help people who need help,” Leogrande said.

The group plans to return on Monday, and once they’re done they’ll donate all of the tools they brought to Houston.

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