Habitat for Humanity at JHU

Incoming students who are interested  in learning  more about community development  and how it impacts our entire Baltimore community and its surrounding neighborhoods, should consider joining this Pre-O program. We will be enjoying the outdoors and spending a lot of time at our work sites.  You will also have the opportunity to move in and meet your classmates early, explore the city with the guide of your leaders, learn about the history of Baltimore and the challenges it faces, while helping Habitat provide affordable housing around Baltimore.

Have questions? Contact JHUhabitat@gmail.com with the subject line “Pre-O Question.”

The program was fantastic! It was structured perfectly and was one of my best volunteer experiences. It truly prepared me for college and I felt confident going into orientation due to the student leaders who made the week productive and fun. – Julia Soto, 2016 Participant

Program Information

Who should apply?

Students need not have construction or service experience beforehand, but should be prepared to work and be committed to the program.

What will we be doing?

The program will begin with move-in to your dorms. The following week will be spent doing a variety of activities. Participants will spend three days working with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake at construction sites and Re-Store sites across Baltimore, and will be supervised by both staff from Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake and experienced board members from the Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity at JHU. Outside of these work trips, students will get the chance to explore the city of Baltimore, and the rich history of the city. In the evenings, we will relax and take part in some of the more fun things Baltimore has to offer, including Orioles Baseball, and movie nights.

What are the costs and fees?

There is a fee for each Pre-Orientation program offered by Johns Hopkins. For the Habitat for Humanity at JHU Pre-O, the fee is $350. The fee covers early move-in, housing for the week, all food and transportation, and all activities for the program.

Checks should be made payable to “Johns Hopkins University” and be mailed to: JHU Center for Social Concern, ATTN: Habitat Pre-Orientation, 3103 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218. Substantial need-based financial aid is available and applying for financial aid will have absolutely no bearing on a students’ application.

Is financial aid available?

A significant amount of need-based financial aid is available and applying for financial aid will have no bearing on your application to the program.

On the HopkinsCORPS application, check the box that indicates “interested in applying for financial aid.” Once students are accepted into the program, they will be asked to email a copy of their financial aid statement from Johns Hopkins as well as a short note detailing why the student has requested aid.

How do I apply?

Participation in the Habitat for Humanity Pre-Orientation Program is application based. Unfortunately, the application is closed for 2016. Those who submitted applications, will be notified by  Wednesday, June 15th about whether their spot has been confirmed.

What happens after I’m accepted to Habitat Pre-O?

Students accepted to Habitat Pre-O will receive an email offering them a position in the program and asking them to complete further paperwork and liability waivers. Students will also receive information regarding payment when they are accepted. Payment will be in the form of a check.

Students who have expressed an interest in applying for financial aid will receive additional information about how to apply for a reduced or waived fee. Students who are accepted into the program can expect to hear from the Habitat Pre-O leadership team periodically throughout the summer before arriving on campus.

Students are responsible for arranging transportation to arrive on campus on time to participate. Students should not make travel arrangements until they are confirmed and accepted into the program.

Meet our Leaders

Habitat for Humanity at JHU is supported by the Center for Social Concern and led by four undergraduate students who have a passion for community service and civic engagement. They are responsible for advising, supporting, and mentoring participants throughout the program.

Brandon Yu

Brandon Yu Habitat HeadshotBrandon Yu is a junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineer major with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management from Roslyn, New York. He has been involved in Habitat for Humanity since his freshman year and was also on the Habitat-Pre O during his incoming year. During his free time, Brandon likes to ponder the greater questions in life. These include but are not limited to: the conversion rate between j-cash to dining dollars to real dollars, if sand is just the mix between sea and land, and why blue jays were the best animal Hopkins could think of. When he’s not being the world’s greatest philosopher, Brandon is a rather simple being who enjoys DJ’ing Couchella, which is entirely similar to Coachella, except on the couch of his living room. When these qualities interest you, register for Habitat Pre-O and meet Brandon!

Grant Welby

Grant Welby Habitat Headshot
Grant Welby is a rising Junior International Studies and German Major from Harleysville, Pennsylvania. In addition to his work as the Secretary of  Habitat for Humanity at JHU, on campus Grant writes for the Baltimore Zeitgeist, is the Recruitment Chair for JHU Mock Trial,  the Vice President of the JHU German Club, and occasionally competes with the Table Tennis Club. Grant has also previously worked with the Johns Hopkins Model United Nations Conference (JHUMUNC). Grant is looking forward to telling you the worst puns you’ve ever heard during the Habitat Pre-Orientation program (all the puns on the application are his fault), and helping you to get to know Baltimore better!

Jonathan Tai

Jonathan Tai Habitat HeadshotJonathan Tai is a senior Public Health major from New York City. He has been involved with Habitat since high school and is currently one of its Vice Presidents here at Hopkins. He is also the Vice President of the Pre-Dental Society, a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Epidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation, and a brother of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. Previously, he was also a Hopkins club lacrosse player, Grandparent for the Thread Mentorship Program, and member of the Nu Rho Psi society for Neuroscience. His ideal day off from the Habitat work site involves cooking all his meals for the day but eating plain, bland oatmeal instead, power lifting, engaging in mentally stimulating challenges with his friends such as chess or stack cup, painting the beautiful landscapes of Baltimore, and ending the day with a sesh of all Netflix and no Chill. If any of these qualities interest you, register for Habitat Pre-O today and come meet Jonathan and the rest of the Hopkins Habitat exec board!

Scott Sterrett

Scott Sterrett Habitat HeadshotScott Sterrett is a Senior Biomedical Engineering major from Pittsburgh, PA. He joined Habitat during his freshman year through the Pre-Orientation program. He loved the experience and has been an active member ever since. He lead the Pre-O trip his Sophomore year and was the coordinator his Junior year. Outside of Habitat he is the president of the Engineering Ambassadors and a captain on the varsity swim team. He was voted best eyes in his senior class.


Vishnu Prasath

Picture of Vishnu Prasath Vishnu Prasath is a senior Biomedical Engineering major from Hackettstown, New Jersey. He joined Habitat during Pre-Orientation his freshman year when he met his good friend, Scott Sterrett. He is currently the President of the Chapter of Habitat for Humanity at JHU and the President of the JHU Engineering World Health Chapter on campus. He is an undergraduate research assistant in the Institute for NanoBioTechnology and volunteers at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in the Center for Research Excellence in Surgical Trials. He is also the Design Team leader for the Water Purification Team in Engineering World Health.

Vishnu is pursuing a double minor in Underwater Abacus and Sushi Studies. In his free time, Vishnu enjoys presiding, building habitats, and helping humanity. He spends his weekends by picking things up and putting them down as well as taking the MCATs for fun. If you’re interested in meeting this incredible specimen of a human being or care about helping others, please apply!