Ben Eder
P.O. Box 721
Newport, OR 97365


Required Essay #1

Describe your most significant accomplishment and explain why you believe it to be your most outstanding.

My most significant accomplishment to date is the construction of a duplex in South Beach, Oregon. Working as a member of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity, I have played a crucial role in realizing the dreams of two families.
During my Junior year in high school I learned of Habitat for Humanity from my Spanish teacher. After I become aware of this wonderful program I wanted to get involved. Habitat’s principal function is to build low cost homes for working, low-income families. These families are carefully chosen and are very involved in the construction of the house. I saw this as a wonderful way to give back to my supportive community, in a highly visible and constructive manner
Many people live in apartments, dorms, or barracks, but there is no real substitute for a home. It is the all American dream to own a home, and Habitat provides the opportunity to work for this dream to people who would otherwise not have the chance.

After demonstrating serious interest, I was invited to be on the Board of Directors as their youth representative. I was accepted by the Board, and since then my involvement has dramatically increased. My principal motivation for joining Habitat was to physically work on the house and to recruit other high schoolers to do the same.

Almost every week the Habitat President, Nancy Mitchell, will give me a call and ask me to put together a work party for Saturday. I then speak to individuals at school whom have expressed interest and ask them to donate their Saturday morning. The response I receive has been encouraging. I have never had a problem recruiting the desired number of volunteers. I have thoroughly enjoyed these Saturday work parties. I have been able to exercise my physical abilities and learn new skills related to the construction of a house. I have also learned some valuable skills such as framing and electrical work which particularly interests me.

While I’m involved in many community service projects, this one has taken on special meaning. It gives me something tangible to see and gauge my progress with. I know that long after I have gone away to college and work, my work will continue to be appreciated by the families in the houses I have helped construct.

This accomplishment of helping to build a home for people has not changed the world or influenced hundreds of people, nor did it require years of physical preparation and competition. It has, however, changed the lives of two families forever and taught me many valuable lessons about people and getting things done.