Collegiate Challenge

One week can change a life forever…

Collegiate Challenge is Habitat for Humanity’s year-round alternative break program that provides opportunities for students from youth groups, high schools and colleges to spend a week of their school break building a house in partnership with a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the United States.

A Collegiate Challenge trip may be the best school break trip you will ever have. Not only do you help people in need–it’s also fun! You’ll have the chance to improve your carpentry skills, connect with new people in a new place and put your faith into action by making a real difference in Habitat for Humanity’s work of eliminating substandard housing.

USCA students work on sheds to be moved to homes in Crosland Park.

Campus Chapters and Youth Programs (CCYP)

What is CCYP?
The Campus Chapters and Youth Programs (CCYP) department of Habitat for Humanity was founded with the mission to capture the imagination, energy and hope of young people worldwide in order to productively and responsibly involve them as leaders in the work of Habitat.
How has CCYP developed?
In November 1987, Baylor University in Waco, Texas, became the first university to form its own student-led, student-initiated Habitat for Humanity organization. The Habitat for Humanity International Board of Directors approved the CCYP department in December 1987. High school students became a part of the CCYP family in 1988 when Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia, formed the first secondary school campus chapter. The first international chapter was chartered in 1991 at the University of Technology in Lae, Papua New Guinea. Since 1987, more than 800 chapters have been chartered worldwide. While the vast majority of these student clubs are based in the United States, campus chapters exist in 35 countries.

As the department’s programs expanded internationally, CCYP recognized that other youth programs models were needed for those areas where schools were not close by or where the youth had graduated. Begun in the Philippines in 2001, community youth groups (CYGs) allow an entire community to be involved.

What is our vision?
Our vision statement for 2001-2006 reads: “In partnership with various organizations, young people of diverse backgrounds are fully integrated into HFH’s work. These community and world leaders are connected to each other through myriad forms of exchange. Their ongoing work and contributions are recognized around the world.”

What do we do?
The CCYP department exists to support Habitat for Humanity national organizations and affiliates in promoting youth involvement. We are also responsible for providing ongoing support to campus chapters and community youth groups through resources, training and special programs. We help young people involved in Habitat for Humanity set up special events, participate in travel service teams and engage in decision making at the local level. The CCYP department is also the liaison between individual campus chapters and community youth groups and other Habitat for Humanity International departments. CCYP staff members are stationed in the field and in the international headquarters in Americus, Ga.

What do we believe?
At CCYP, we believe that young people are today’s builders and tomorrow’s leaders. In that spirit, we seek to offer young people opportunities to partner with Habitat for Humanity in a sustained and productive way. We seek to create nurturing environments where youth can develop skills in community leadership and teamwork while providing continued valuable resources toward the elimination of poverty housing.

Why do young people join Habitat?
Young people around the world are becoming more aware of and more engaged in Habitat for Humanity’s work. By serving in greater numbers, the world’s youth continue to challenge the notion that volunteerism is purely a Western concept. A former communist country where “volunteerism” was mandatory, Romania hosted the Summer Youth Build in August 2001, coinciding with Habitat for Humanity’s first World Leaders Build. Today, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, is one of the most dynamic and active Habitat youth groups in Europe.

In addition, examples abound about how HFH is perceived primarily as a medium for peace and reconciliation. Of note is “Cycling for Habitat,” a week-long event in which young Japanese cyclists travel across the Sea of Japan and meet up with their Korean peers. Riding their bicycles over several hundred kilometers, a few dozen youth spread the word about Habitat’s mission. Not only does this allow the young citizens of former political foes to interact with each other, but it also gives them the opportunity to raise funds along the bike route and serve on a construction site at the journey’s end. This kind of cooperation and interaction among youth is exciting, in terms of Habitat for Humanity’s growth.

Finally, young people want the opportunity to gain extra practical skills, contribute to change in their communities and be connected to a worldwide organization.

How can I join in Habitat for Humanity’s work?
It’s easy! Contact us at 803-642-9295 or email at