Building a better community

Bryan ISD partners with Habitat for Humanity to benefit local family

A roof and four walls. A shelter in a storm. A place to make memories. Bryan ISD has taken on the task of building a house for a local family by partnering with Habitat for Humanity. Superintendent Ginger Carrabine formulated the idea and presented it to other school administrators before rolling it out to the entire district. All students, staff, and faculty will have an opportunity to be a part of the project and give back to the community.

“I am so thankful and blessed that we have the opportunity to work with Habitat at Bryan ISD because my dream was to one day help other organizations. I want to give something back,” head monitor Lester Banks said. “One of my big ideas is to challenge high school students to really take this seriously and participate.”

Bryan ISD announced the Build project at the employee convocation before school started and is raising funds during the fall semester before construction begins in January.

“What we’re trying to accomplish is building a house for a deserving family who lives in Bryan,” Carrabine said. “We are trying to rally the troops right now, namely the students, to help us with fundraising and awareness and promotion promoting the event and just telling the story about why this is needed in our community.”

Student ambassadors have taken a leading role in the project through fundraisers and other promotional events. Currently, there are 180 Bryan High student ambassadors involved as well as 30 students signed up to work on construction. 

“As far as other students helping, we invite everyone to get involved and talk to their teachers, campus principals, and sponsors for their extracurricular events, as well as to come up with ways to promote it and get the story out, and then ask for ways to raise money,” Carrabine said. “The campuses have really gotten behind the project and they’ve gone out and started fundraising, a lot of our elementaries have already done penny drops and pajama days.”

Not only is Carrabine looking forward to the fundraisers because of the financial benefits, but she also realizes the potential effect they will have on young students across the district. 

“We hope that every single student from pre-K through grade 12 will learn this most important lesson of serving their community and giving back,” Carrabine said. “We talk about the Essential Eight in character development and this is an opportunity to put all that we’ve been learning about into play, into motion, and then we hope that when our students graduate from Bryan ISD they will remember this.”

Students have been helping through fundraisers and promotion and soon will be able to be involved with the physical needs of the project. 

“We’ll partner with Habitat for Humanity, but we hope to tap many of our students to go out to the work site and swing a hammer and build the house with us,” Carrabine said. “If all goes well with the construction project, the keys will be handed over to the family in May.”

Students are looking forward to participating in each step of the process and hope to create memories of themselves and the family they are building for.

“I like that we’re involved directly in the community with this project because we haven’t had that kind of opportunity in the past,” student ambassador junior Vivica Paulhill said. “I hope to see how the community can come together and give someone in need a house and a place where they can make memories.”

With 16,000 students and 3,000 employees across the district, even the smallest contribution from anyone can help. 

“If everyone paid one dollar and wore a hat and we collected all that money, that would be $19,000 raised in just one day,” Carrabine said. “I think there’s an altruistic attitude and a mindset that comes with seeing other people and feeling a need that really is outside of yourself.”

For more information about the build, you can visit the Bryan ISD website, or type in the URL There is a QR code available on the website to make a donation of any amount through PayPal.