VPA Spotlights
Environmental and interior design students at Block Blitz Environmental and interior design students at Block Blitz
Environmental and interior design students paint panels at Block Blitz Environmental and interior design students paint panels at Block Blitz
Environmental and interior design students paint panels at Block Blitz Environmental and interior design students paint panels at Block Blitz
An environmental and interior design student paints at Block Blitz | Photo courtesy Home HeadQuarters An environmental and interior design student paints at Block Blitz | Photo courtesy Home HeadQuarters
The students' work is installed in the vacant home's windows The students' work is installed in the vacant home's windows
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For the second year in a row, environmental and interior design (EDI) students in the School of Design participated in Block Blitz, an annual community revitalization event organized by Home HeadQuarters in Syracuse. Block Blitz engages local industry partners and organizations to participate in improving different parts of neighborhoods where community help is needed most. This year, volunteers helped clean up, landscape, paint, and repair approximately 50 homes in the Elmwood Park neighborhood of Syracuse.

Block Blitz provides EDI students with important lessons about their local community and informs them about community concerns.

“Block Blitz was a great volunteer experience,” says Julia Whittley ’19. “It was educational to get to interact with the part of the city that, as students, we don't often see. I liked that we were actively helping people, and it was rewarding to see our hard work start to pay off within a few hours.”

“I really enjoyed Block Blitz,” says Alanna Masciarelli ’20. “I thought it was very interesting to see such a big outpouring of support for the community we were trying to help. I really enjoyed planting and fixing up a yard because it was actually a person’s house, and it made me feel really good to give back to him, especially when he came out and spoke with us.”

“I had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with a hard-working group of students from the School of Design,” says Syeisha Byrd, director of community engagement at Hendricks Chapel, who joined the EDI students at the event. “It was hot, and they were sweating, but they continued to cut bushes, paint fences and foundations, plant flowers, weed, mulch, and clean as a team. In the end, we all left there with smiles on our faces, knowing that the resident was so thankful and happy with the work we all had done together.”