Students from West-MEC’s General Construction Technology program renovated a veteran’s widow’s home in Glendale as part of their work-based learning and community service.
LaGean Levar is the wife of Thomas Phillip Levar, a Navy veteran who passed away nearly a year ago and served from 1984 to 1986. LaGean’s house was dilapidated and needed immediate attention.
The city of Glendale contacted Jeff Turney due to his previous service to veterans.
“The house was going to be condemned due to its condition and I contacted Angels on Patrol and Operation Enduring Gratitude,” Turney shared in a West-MEC news release. “They stepped in to help Ms. Levar and renovate the house.”
Operation Enduring Gratitude, the nonprofit started by West-MEC’s General Construction Technology instructor and veteran Charlie Ellis, serves veterans and families in need. The nonprofit undertook renovations to make her house a home again.
On the first Friday in February, students from West-MEC’s construction class reached the site and put to use the skills learned in their program. They filled in cracks, replaced windows with cinder blocks and bricks, and performed repairs on cracked masonry joints. Avanti Windows and AZ Masonry Council guided students in the process.
“It feels great to use the skills that I’ve learned in class while also giving back to the community,” Ximena Navarro, a student of the program, shared.
American Pride Heating & Cooling, located at 6127 W. Park View Lane, Glendale, is installing an HVAC unit for Operation Enduring Gratitude. The nonprofit hopes to wrap up the project within three months.
“I’d like to thank the students, Operation Enduring Gratitude and others who have helped in the restoration process,” LaGean Levar shared.
West-MEC, located at 5487 N. 99th Ave., Glendale, is a career technical education public school district that focuses solely on career and technical education (CTE) programs that prepare students to enter the workforce and pursue continuing education.
“The class is here to make a tangible difference while seeing real-life application of techniques learned in the lab,” Ellis shared. “They will be coming back a few more times to help in the restoration process.”