The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

Ms. Day speaks to Hockaday students as well as other students in the Dallas area as part of her role to involve Hockaday students in the community and lead them to fulfill their purpose.
A day with Ms. Day
Sarah Moskowitz and Melinda HuMay 19, 2024

How did you get your start in social impact? Day: Out of college, I decided to do a year in a program called The Jesuit Volunteer Corps. It...

Lone Star Royalty Q&A
Lone Star Royalty Q&A
Lang Cooper and Mary Bradley SutherlandMay 17, 2024

What initially interested you in beauty pageants? Roberts: When I was six I joined the Miss America Organization. This program is for girls...

Branching Out During Break
Jessica Boll, Web Editor in Chief • May 16, 2024

Instead of lazily lounging by the pool this summer, taking advantage of an academic break is the best usage of the months when we don't have...

Senior Splash Day
Senior Splash Day
May 13, 2024

Hammers for habitat

Students work together to build a home
Julia Small
During their first build of the years, Hockaday and St. Mark’s students transported one of the walls painted by freshmen and sophomores.

Early Saturday mornings in spring, senior co-chairs of Habitat for Humanity Julia Small and Riley Damonte can be found on the build site, finding their passion in social impact through building houses and leading the project. Habitat for Humanity teaches students valuable building and organizational skills while they construct a house with the future homeowner of the house.

Since joining the leadership board their junior year, Small and Damonte have been active members, involving themselves in any ways they can.

“During sophomore year, we wrote letters to family members asking for donations for the project,” Damonte said. “Throughout junior year, we went to a lot of builds, and the leaders picked us to follow in their footsteps since we were so involved.”

Junior Katherine Oglesby has been involved with Habitat for Humanity this spring, participating in the first build.

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“It was a really cool experience and a fun social impact opportunity,” Oglesby said. “It’s also nice to get to do it with your friends.”

Small and Damonte started working a few months prior to the build on fundraising to gather money to build the home. This year, they introduced a new board for underclassmen to allow freshmen and sophomores a chance to participate in the house since they are not permitted to build until they are 16.

“We have a new project for freshmen and sophomores so that they can paint the walls of this house, which has been super fun,” Small said. “We have seen a huge amount of interest which is amazing, and offering the wall project for underclassmen makes them more interested in becoming active members of Habitat as upperclassmen.”

Damonte said because the underclassmen board has been so popular, they reached their monetary goal for the project quickly.

When the students arrive at the build site, the foundation is already complete, so they are tasked with putting up the frame of the house and details like insulation and roofing.

Both Damonte and Small agree that Habitat for Humanity is a unique and special type of social impact for them, since they can see palpable change and their hard work come to fruition.

“Habitat for Humanity is different than other community service organizations because you get to physically make a change by building a house and making a physical difference in the community,” Small said.

Damonte said getting to work with the person who will ultimately own the house adds another element of value to the project.

“We get to build a personal connection with the future homeowner since they’re building the house alongside us,” Damonte said.

Throughout her experience with Habitat for Humanity, Damonte has enjoyed working with the homeowners during the entire process.

“Something very special about Habitat for Humanity is that the homeowners aren’t indebted to Habitat at all,” Damonte said.

Despite the early-morning start to building, students always arrive excited and ready to work on the house.

“Everyone has really good energy,” Small said. “We show up to the build site, get the safety talk, have donuts and separate into groups to take on different tasks within the project.”

During the first build of 2024, Oglesby said that she helped hammer the boards of the walls and the plywood.

“I got to learn how to do different construction tasks, which was super cool,” Oglesby said.

To commemorate the completion of the house, members of Habitat for Humanity have a celebration with the homeowners.

“The celebration is very special because we have a meal with the entire family that will live in the house, including children and, potentially, grandparents, and give them a nice housewarming gift,” Damonte said. “It is very rewarding to see all the work that we’ve done pay off with the final project.”

Small said she has learned valuable life lessons from Habitat for Humanity.

“I’ve learned fundraising skills, the power of communication and how to effectively work in a group,” Small said. “I think it is empowering to know that when you take time to do hands-on aspects, you get to make a change.”

From the leadership council to a co-chair of Habitat for Humanity, Damonte has seen the impact of Habitat for Humanity on Hockaday students.

“I’ve learned how excited Hockaday girls get to be part of this project,” Damonte said. “I think something that makes the project very rewarding is the tangible aspect of it, getting to see all the work you have done.”



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About the Contributor
Sarah Moskowitz
Sarah Moskowitz, Staff Writer