Riverland Community College students give back


AUSTIN, Minn.- College students in southern Minnesota are doing their part to give back to those in need. They’re helping make homes more accessible for people with limited mobility.

The Austin SkillsUSA chapter at Riverland Community College received more than $22,000 from a grant through Lowe’s.

Now the students are building ramps for homeowners in need in hopes of bringing community members together.

“I think community is huge, especially in a small town like this,” said Levi Christenson, Coordinator for Riverland SkillsUSA. “There are older generations who are doing so much for people in school and just people coming in behind them to keep looking after the world.”

Students from Riverland are designing, building and installing six handicap ramps for homeowners.

That includes Cheryl and Dave Stigney of Austin. Dave has trouble getting in and out of his house.

“He had polio as a child and so he’s always worn braces on one leg,” said Cheryl.

Dave has fallen three times in the past four years and he fractured his strong leg.

“It was really scary because there was no way to get into the house,” said Cheryl.

After his injury, they needed some help.

“When we brought Dave home, I had to have help and they helped me get him into the house and so once he got in there he was kind of trapped because he hasn’t had therapy and he wasn’t supposed to put weight on it to move,” said Cheryl.

These students are ready to lend a helping hand.

“I think a project like this is great to get out in the community that they live in and work in and helps some of those people and give back to them for what they’ve given us,” said Christenson.

The Stigney’s home is one of two homes that they installed ramps in Austin today and another one was done in Lyle.

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