Students work on community projects in Mayor’s Crew

Group works on house projects in neighborhoods

One local group of students is working on community projects this summer.

A few weeks ago the La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat announced the formation of a group of students working on projects throughout the city.

The group, which is run by WisCorps is called the Mayor’s Crew.

News 8 followed the group Thursday to get a glimpse of what the group does to help the community.

Despite a little set back by a thunderstorm Thursday, “Mayor’s Crew” member Ariana Lacoste is still ready to work.

“We’re working on this guy’s house,” said Lacoste. “There was some vandalism that went on, so we’re taking those boards off and repainting them, and putting them back on.”

She said the job is a little different each day.

“I didn’t want your typical fast-food job. I wanted to be doing something that was worth my time, and something I can work really hard, and be able to look at it, and see the hard work I did,” Lacoste said.

While the group is only a few weeks in, it’s been an experience she won’t forget.

“I know we helped out on one lady’s house. She was an older lady, and her husband just passed away. She was just really happy. You could see it in her face,” she said.

Kabat says it’s important to get groups like this one involved in the community.

“We want to make La Crosse a place that is welcoming and attractive and engaging for everyone, no matter what your age group,” he said.

Getting young groups into the community with projects like the Mayor’s Crew is what Kabat said the project is all about.

“We talked about what it means to be a citizen, and it’s more than just going and voting, its actually doing activities and actions to make your community better,” Kabat said.

The people whose homes are getting a little spruce up, couldn’t be more thankful.

“Along with the windows and the trimming, and all the painting that needs to be done, I can’t do it for sure all by myself,” Henry Rotering said. “I’m just not able to do it. I’m just glad to have all the help I can. And these kids, I can’t tell you enough about the kids.”

For Lacoste, this summer work is a little more than simply a job.

“I could probably be getting paid more at a different, fast-food job, maybe doing easier work, but I think this is a lot more meaningful to me,” Lacoste said.

The group will continue to work on projects through the end of the summer.

Kabat said that if this first year of the program proves successful, there could be a possible expansion of the group in the coming years.