Texas Tech student rebuilds Haiti one home at a time - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas Tech student rebuilds Haiti one home at a time

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AP/ Ariana Cubillos AP/ Ariana Cubillos
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Texas Tech student Josh Groves will be honored on Friday during the Red Cross Champion's Breakfast for his dedication to rebuilding Haiti one home at a time.

"Whenever I heard about the earthquake in Haiti I just knew I could use my skills. I just knew in my heart I needed to go down there," said Josh.

As a Tech construction engineering student, Josh didn't waste any time. Three months after the earthquake in January of 2010, Josh spent his spring break in Haiti with his uncle to help hand out supplies and assess the damage.

"I was just really overwhelmed. 300,000 buildings went down. Just seeing that city in just crumbles everywhere, and just so many people... There's like four million people around all this rubble," he said.

After some planning and lots of research, Josh was on a mission to not only rebuild Haiti but to also teach the natives how to build on their own. "I just knew that if I built one house for one Haitian, one Haitian family, it would totally change their life," said Josh.

Teaming up with a humanitarian organization, Josh's first mission was to build an orphanage. "Plywood and cinder blocks," said Josh, describing what the little kids were sleeping on.

A few trips later he brought back a team to help build a church.

"It's just really cool to go back and see that there is a new church for those people and they have a source of hope," he said. "I'm trying to figure out how to help the people and give them better houses, so whether it's through that church and teaching some construction classes or getting students from Tech involved and getting them to come down and design houses and just work alongside the Haitians."

Josh has been a total of six times to Haiti, but his work is far from over. He plans on building homes and orphanages in Haiti for the next 15 years, and after that he says he'll move on to other countries. "Just go wherever there's need for development because as soon as things are a little more equal we will have a more peaceful world," said Josh.

While Josh says he is honored for the award, he says the real reward is what he has taken from those in Haiti. "It was just an encouragement to see how happy the people were, and just the little kids singing and dancing … it was just really awesome," said Josh.

Josh will be honored with several others Friday morning at 8. The Red Cross Champion's Breakfast will be hosted at Aerocare.

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