Students create homes

BY Amanda Sotelo

At least 35 Building Construction Technology students from Texas State Technical College are building a house to help give someone a home.

The Green Building and Construction Technology 2 classes gain real-world experience as they work closely with Habitat for Humanity to help make families’ dreams come true.

TSTC Building Construction Technology Instructor Rolando Cuellar said when the opportunity to partner with Habitat for Humanity was introduced one year ago, he knew it was a perfect match.

“We’ve been working with Habitat and building homes across Harlingen, while reinforcing what we teach in the classroom with hands-on experience every semester,” Cuellar said.

This is the program’s fourth house and counting. Cuellar said Habitat for Humanity has assigned them three more houses, with the next one in Primera. He added that it generally takes the students about one month to finish a house.

“This partnership has allowed our students not only to work toward their career goals, but also to help the community,” he said. “We’re excited for the future of this partnership because it is definitely worthwhile.”

Building Construction Technology student Denisse Godinez agrees that this opportunity has been a great experience and an eye opener for her.

“Being given this type of hands-on experience is invaluable to me,” she said. “Everything I’m learning I’ll be able to apply when I graduate and join my dad in the construction business.”

The mother of two said it also gives her a sense of satisfaction knowing she is helping to provide a home for a family.

“We’re not only building houses, we’re creating a place that a family can call home,” Godinez said.

Habitat for Humanity Program Director Eriberto Orta said he appreciates all the hard work and dedication TSTC has put into this partnership and helping families.

“TSTC has really become a huge support for us in Harlingen,” he said. “They have been with us literally every step of the way since our initial home in the community. They are an outlet we can count on.”

Orta said TSTC has been able to fill the volunteer gaps he faces during the week.

“During the week they’re there, no questions asked,” Orta said. “Our construction site is their learning site, and they are doing a remarkable job. They are really making a difference for our organization and the families we serve.”

Orta said he can only see this partnership growing and getting better.

To learn more about Building Construction Technology at TSTC, call 956-364-4468 or visit