If you ask Alyssa Berardocco what she hopes to gain from her time at university, she’ll tell you it’s all about experiences.
The fourth-year concurrent education student has spent the last four years stockpiling her agenda with extracurriculars, trusting that the broad, wealth of experiences will help take her career path from the abstract to the concrete.
“I try to take advantage of all the opportunities that present themselves,” said Berardocco. “I don’t know what else is out there, but I’m excited to experience as much as I can and see where my education and experiences lead me.”
A current Brock University Students’ Administrative Council councillor and president of the Concurrent Education Student Association, Berardocco keeps extremely busy.
But, she wasn’t too busy to volunteer during Alternative Reading Week. For the second consecutive year, she travelled to Sumter, South Carolina in a trip organized by Student Life and Community Experience (SLCE). They were there to help Habitat for Humanity.
“I was working in the department of SLCE when I heard about the opportunity,” she said. “It was kind of a last minute thing for me the first time around and I had such an incredible time that I really wanted to return back to the community of Sumter and do it again.”
And do it again she did.
Along with 20 other students, the group, working with the skilled professionals of Habitat for Humanity, was able to frame a house and set up the trusses for the roof during their five days of work – an impressive feat considering prior experience in construction was not prevalent on the resumes of many who participated.
But, according to Berardocco, what they lacked in experience they all but made up for in excitement, enthusiasm and what she refers to as the ‘Brock spirit.’
“You could see the energy and the positivity in the group – it was contagious,” she said. “We brought a type of energy like no other and the spirit at the work site was unmatched.”
Impressed by the Habitat for Humanity’s leaders, Berardocco said their patience and “can do” approach struck a chord with her.
“It really opened my eyes to being patient and seeing the positive effects of simple encouragement,” she said. “You want to make sure everyone tries their best and if they make a mistake, who cares, it’s OK, you can try it again and keep going. All of our nails were bent on the first day but we kept at it and helped each other, and by day five we realized we had framed an entire house. We kept saying ‘surgite’ to each other the whole trip, because that’s what you have to do, you have to push on.”
Only a few months into 2016 and it has already been a busy year for Berardocco, but if you ask her, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love it and would never change a thing.”