In Rockville, Md., Amy (Colagiovanni) Martinez ’98 welcomed 10 students along with Rev. Andrew Royals ’01, a priest at St. Elizabeth Church in Rockville who is active in the Capital Area Providence College Alumni Club.
In Buffalo, N.Y., six students enjoyed an Italian dinner at the home of Richard Friedman ’03 and his wife, Kelly Mack ’04. “They were great, and we had a lot of fun,” said Mack.
For students on Habitat trips, who usually cook their own food in communal kitchens after spending full days on a construction site, the chance to dine with alumni was a treat.
“It was so nice to have dinner with the Martinez family,” said Julia Tully ’12 (Ardmore, Pa.), a student leader for the Baltimore trip. “We were so grateful for their hospitality and willingness to open their home to 10 college students they’d never met before. They made us wonderful dinner, and we loved hearing about their steps after college.”
Martinez and her husband, who enjoy cooking, served the students Korean BBQ beef kabobs, sauteed Chinese eggplant with garlic oil, oyster and hoisin sauce, lightly steamed baby Bok Choy with sesame oil and oyster sauce, grilled asparagus, Chinese mandarin orange baby spinach salad, and rice, along with appetizers and dessert.
“Amy was so warm, and as a soon-to-be alum, it was really cool to see someone who I can really identify with so happy with her life, and it helped to ease the pressure of graduation a little bit,” said Tully.
“My family and I were delighted to have been able to host PC’s Habitat for Humanity-Baltimore group and Father Drew for dinner in our home,” said Martinez. “It was a wonderful evening and it was a pleasure to have met all of them.”
Justine Harrington ’12 (Hanover, Mass.), who dined with the Friedmans in Buffalo, said students enjoyed updating the couple on changes to campus in the last several years.
“We talked about the changes at PC, and they recollected about their days at The Cowl,” said Harrington. “We were telling them about new buildings and things. They were really excited to have us and it was fun to be with them. It was really cool to see how they have started their lives, because they didn’t graduate that long ago, and to see two alums get married who met at PC.”
It was the first time that Campus Ministry and the Office of Alumni Relations reached out to alumni to ask them to host Habitat students at their homes as “a gesture of hospitality.”
This spring, through the Alternative Spring Break program offered by Campus Ministry, 120 students from PC participated in 10 Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge trips. In addition to Baltimore and Buffalo, they volunteered on construction projects in Wilmington, Del.; Burlington, Concord, and Pittsboro, N.C; Coatesville and York, Pa.; Glade Spring and Lexington, Va; Lewisburg, W.Va., and Oak Ridge, Tenn.
— Vicki-Ann Downing