The distinction of “Fellow” is reserved for upstanding undergraduate brothers who successfully complete a 500-hour or 60-day service learning project before completing their senior years. At the Brotherhood Luncheon on Friday, Aug. 14, two brothers were honored with the distinction for their remarkable acts of service to the communities around them.
Michael Paciero, Lawrence Tech ’15
As an architectural engineering major at Lawrence Tech, Michael Paceiro has a passion for sustainable development projects. As a Michigan native, he also has a passion for preserving his state. In pursuing his Fellow project, he sought to combine these passions while developing himself as a balanced man.
Paceiro recently led a 50-man team through a sustainability-focused construction project known as “reconstruction” with his chapter brothers and friends. In this method, a building that would otherwise be torn down and sent to the dump in scraps is instead analyzed for the value of its individual parts. Then, using a specialized method, the building is carefully deconstructed to preserve the usable parts of the structure. With these parts in tact, developers are able to design and construct new buildings using the materials.
Paceiro said while the project was focused on sustainable building, he also used the opportunity to educate his team on the grim reality that many Detroit residents are facing concerning the sustainability of their city. The team had the opportunity to interact and build relationships with the local residents during the project, exposing them to the people most impacted by the challenges. The increased awareness has motivated many of his chapter brothers to get involved in other service opportunities in the metro-Detroit area.
Paceiro and his team are now not only working to complete the deconstruction process, but also seeking funding to design and build a prototype house in Detroit utilizing the materials from the project.
Alex Beckett, Stetson ’14
After learning about the living conditions of the impoverished population of Southwest Cameroon, Brother Alex Beckett wanted to do two things: make a tangible difference for the residents he could reach there, and inspire his brothers to see their potential to do good.
Determined to complete both of his goals, Beckett convinced his chapter to come on board, and together they spent the next two years raising funds for nine chapter brothers to visit the country.
In a small town in Cameroon, Beckett and his brothers worked side-by-side with the local residents to redirect a nearby stream that served as the main source of water for the town. They also cleaned the town’s contaminated reservoir to provide cleaner water to the residents. In the evenings, they provided medical service to over 150 town inhabitants, including many children inflicted with malaria.
The brothers’ service to the town will make a lasting difference for its residents. Perhaps more importantly, the lessons they learned will continue to sustain them as they strive to live each day exemplifying the cardinal principle of brotherly love.