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Students spend the summer helping people with disabilities

Journey of Hope
UNG student Jeff Michaud rode his bike in different parts of the country for two months to help people with disabilities.

Four University of North Georgia (UNG) students helped people with disabilities through activities sponsored by Pi Kappa Phi (PKP) fraternity this summer.

Chuck Paschal, a criminal justice major from Roswell, Georgia, and expects to graduate in May 2020, raised $4,000 to take part in six weeks of construction projects at camps or facilities aiding people with disabilities. It was part of the "Build America" portion of PKP’s "The Ability Experience" campaign.

Paschal had tool training in Boston before traveling to locations in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, and Iowa. Some of the projects included building a sensory garden and a wheelchair accessible swing. The sensory garden included a small waterfall, a pond, an archway, colorful and sweet-smelling flowers, plus an option for music.

"It's meant the world," Paschal said. "It's shown me how lucky I am, and being in the position to give back is incredible."

Will McGarity, Jeff Michaud and J.D. Michaud, who are also in Pi Kappa Phi, took part in the "Journey of Hope" branch of "The Ability Experience," riding their bicycles across the country to help people with disabilities.

Jeff Michaud, an accounting major from Cumming, Georgia, expecting to graduate in May 2020, said he rode 75 miles per day for about two months (June 5 to Aug. 11) and stopped for events such as dance parties and wheelchair softball.

One particularly meaningful stop was a visit to one of the partner sites in Grand Island, Nebraska, where Jeff Michaud got to see the work done by his predecessors 10 years earlier.

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