December 09, 2009

Co-op Experience: David Dumenigo

"I believe that volunteer work plays a crucial role in the community."

Civil Engineering Technology (BCET) ’10
Co-op Employer: St. Bernard’s Project 
Position: Long Term Volunteer

The Value of Service

Following a visit to New Orleans during his weeklong summer break, David Dumenigo, BCET ’10, setup a co-op position as a Long Term Volunteer at the St. Bernard Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding homes that were devastated during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Initially, he participated in several activities, including installing floors, doors, exterior siding and ordering/purchasing building materials from the St. Bernard Project warehouse and Home Depot.

Over time, his position expanded into a site supervisor and his duties increased. Dumenigo trained volunteers to work with numerous tools and materials; organized volunteer teams; explained objectives; set goals; and worked alongside volunteers throughout the day.

“After seeing the devastation in St. Bernard and surrounding parishes from Hurricane Katrina, I knew that I could lend a helping hand in rebuilding the community. New Orleans and its surrounding areas are a hot spot for all types of engineering, with many issues that need to be addressed, assessed, planned for, constructed, managed, and maintained.”

Learning About Himself

Dumenigo credits the many interesting people, diverse environments, and unique places he was exposed to on co-op in helping to grow both professionally and personally. The hands-on experience he gained helped him visualize the relationship between the design drawing board and field construction.

“I believe that volunteer work plays a crucial role in the community. As a young adult and student, I do not have much money, but I do have time.  If I can help out, it is just as good as money. I would like to volunteer in other parts of the world in the engineering field.”

The Power of Hands-on Experience

“I decided that actual, hands-on field experience related to my academic course of studies would provide me with a stronger perspective of my chosen studies and future profession.”

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