MATTHEWS – Students at Covenant Day School continue to help rebuild the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota by converting shipping containers into functional space the Lakota people can use.
Students and staff visited the reservation in 2014 and saw first hand poverty’s effect on the Lakotas. Problems ranged from addiction to sexual abuse.
While the first few projects coming out of Covenant Day’s ContainIt initiative have focused on providing safe housing, students are now building a coffee shop from shipping containers.
Companies likes Edifice, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting and Brakeman’s Coffee & Supply have donated insight and materials.
The project’s scope goes beyond construction. Students are creating a business model for sustainable jobs.
“The nearest city is two hours away, so it’s really hard to find jobs,” senior Aislinn McGrory said. “We’re trying to give an opportunity for these people to provide for their families.”
Students are still considering cabinetry and equipment inside the coffee shop. They’ll also train with Brakeman’s Coffee, taking what they’ve learned and showing the Lakota people.
Freshman Jordan Daugherty was excited to join the ContainIt initiative this year, but admitted to being a little nervous about rubbing shoulders with more experienced upperclassmen.
“If you want to do something, you don’t want to stand back and watch,” she said. “You have to put yourself out there and try.”
McGrory is thankful Covenant Day allows students to lead projects of this magnitude.
“It shows us that we’re capable of doing these big things that most other schools don’t trust teenagers with,” she said. “We’re given responsibility, deadlines and this huge project to take on.”
Want to help?
Covenant Day School students have organized a clay shoot fundraiser 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 16 at Meadow Wood Farm, 6012 Meadow Woods Farm Road, Waxhaw. Tickets cost $250 and include lunch. Visit www.covenantday.org/containit to buy tickets and learn more about the program.