Lansing-area students build benches and donate them

December 21, 2013 by  

Four Lansing-area students have turned their talent for working with their hands into a tangible product—benches. This month, they donated them to Origami, a rehabilitation center for those with traumatic brain injuries.

Dominique Woods, B.J. Carter, Troy Sinnaeve and Jrakkar Woods are all participants in the Greater Michigan Construction Academy Jump Start Program, which is designed to teach young people construction skills.

The students designed and built four wooden benches, then presented them to Origami, which will install them beside a paved path. Origami’s co-executive director, Tammy Hannah, said the organization will remember the students’ kindness forever, calling the gifts “really thoughtful”, and noting the benches fit perfectly with the center’s mission.

The four students, who range in age from 14 to 18, were the first participants in the construction academy, which is part of the Associated Builders & Contractors trade group. The course is 10 weeks in length, during which time the students worked with various local companies, gaining hands-on experience in a number of building trades.

Kris Henderson, the construction academy’s education services director, was familiar with Origami because her father was once a patient there. She contacted the center and offered the benches to them, knowing how important their work is. The students were thrilled with the reception their efforts received.

The construction academy could work with brochure printers to create an item to distribute to area schools, using the benches as an example of the skills being taught, and suggesting the academy as educational option.