October 26, 2017 – Since 2007, Santa Fe College has partnered with Habitat for Humanity and other civic organizations to build houses in the community. Students at SF’s Charles R. Perry Construction Institute get the hands-on training needed to completely build a house – from framing the walls, to running the electrical and plumbing lines. With help from Habitat for Humanity volunteers, SF students get to learn about more than just wood, conduit and PVC pipe. By connecting with the recipients selected from the local community, they learn how to make a house a home.
In October 2017, on land donated by the city of High Sprints, the SF’s seventh completed home was dedicated to the Mazon family. Otis and Ivera Mazon and their daughters Olana and Osha –who have volunteered at Habitat for Humanity for several years – moved into their new home.
The Mazon family were guests of the college on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Before moving to Florida, Ivera worked for an insurance company located in the World Trade Center. On the day of the attack, she brought Olana and Osha to work with her to attend a baby shower for a co-worker later that afternoon. Although they were guided to safety by a security guard during the attack, the horrors of that day stayed with the family.
The Mazons eventually moved to Florida, where Otis works at UF Health and Olana and Osha attend Santa Fe College.
SF students are currently working on their eighth home, which should be ready in the spring of 2018.