Big Hearts: Brainerd High students step up - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Big Hearts: Brainerd High students step up

By Megan Boatwright
Channel 3 Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - In two days, a Chattanooga family will be told they're getting a new home, all because of the Extreme Makeover: Big Hearts building project.

Channel 3 has been following the process from the beginning.  Skilled volunteers aren't the only help the project is getting, even high school students are stepping up for the cause.   

At the beginning of the school year, the senior class at Brainerd High School committed 2,011 hours to community service.  

Senior students have performed many projects throughout the year, but the chance to be a part of Big Hearts is something the Class of 2011 won't soon forget.

"I'm very excited," says senior, Rodney Cameron.   "It's a blessing to be a blessing." 

"I'm looking forward to meeting the family and not just building a house," says Zayquam Powell.  

There's a contagious excitement in the air at Brainerd High School, as 50 students from the senior class ready to take part in a life-changing project for one Chattanooga area family.

"We hope they grasp the understanding that it's about more than just you," says business teacher Levar Brown.  

Brown says it's was a no-brainer when he learned Extreme Makeover Home Edition was coming to town.   His senior students still had service hours to perform, and what better way to do it.

"We'll still be learning.  It'll be a life lesson," says Cameron.  "Every day you learn a new lesson.  This will be a life lesson." 

The school learned last Tuesday the 50 volunteer slots they requested were approved.   Brown says right now they only know to report to the build site by 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.  Until the family is revealed this weekend, that's all they know.

"We have no idea what we're gonna be doing," says Brown. "We don't even know where we're going yet."

What they'll be doing matters little to the students.   To them, it's about a chance to show the best of Brainerd High School.

"It's a chance to show that the Brainerd High students are more than what our community thinks of us," says senior Cordell Paruchuri.  

A chance to create a unique senior year experience.  "It'll be a memory our senior class can claim," says  Powell. 

And maybe even a chance to get a little star struck before their build day is over.  "Meet Ty Pennington," says Senior Nikki Byrd.  "I've always wanted to meet him." 

Students have to be 18-years-old to volunteer.

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