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Schroen ’19 Is a Leader with Habitat for Humanity  

by catherine elvy, staff writer

A Dartmouth College senior is doing his part to help build the kingdom of God in the Upper Valley.

Peter Schroen ’19 helps coordinate Dartmouth’s student chapter of Habitat for Humanity International and is a leader with Christian Union.

When he arrived at Dartmouth three years ago, he volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, exhibiting the same servant’s heart he had when he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, New York.

DartmouthSmallFall2018“It is a rewarding way to serve people,” said Schroen. “You get to meet them and see how you are tangibly improving their lives.”

In addition to focusing upon the practical needs of neighbors, Schroen also is actively helping to bolster Dartmouth’s Christian community.

As the director of operations for Christian Union’s
ministry to Dartmouth students, Schroen helps to plan events, coordinate outreach to freshmen, and determine the organization’s strategic goals. “I’ve grown in my leadership capacity,” he said.

Chase Carlisle, a Christian Union ministry fellow at Dartmouth, is especially appreciative of Schroen’s commitment.

“One of the things that struck me early – and that makes him stand out even from among his peers – is how faithful and reliable he is,” Carlisle said. “If Peter says he will do something, it will get done.”

While he grew up in a Christian household, Schroen did not actively exhibit ownership of his faith until college. He paused to credit his involvement with Bible courses for expanding his faith, fluency in apologetics, and capacity for critical thinking. 

Carlisle noted that Schroen “adds an objective voice to our community.”

“His depth of thinking and his candor will serve him well.”

Schroen also has enhanced his skills at communicating the Gospel on campus and beyond. “A lot of that is attributable to mentors and friends I’ve had in Christian Union,” he said. Click to Tweet

Such abilities also have equipped the Rochester native as he seeks to construct God’s kingdom in practical ways, including through his service on the executive team for Dartmouth’s student affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.

Over the last 30 years, the student chapter has built 33 homes and handled countless critical repairs, including some after Hurricane Irene weakened to a tropical storm, but still battered parts of New England in 2011.

Likewise, the the government and biology major especially is excited about a project the Upper Valley Habitat began in July to construct a single-family home in nearby Sharon, Vermont for a family with three young children. In 2015, the organization also launched a program to help a struggling, inner-city neighborhood in Claremont, New Hampshire, by providing aid with urgent repairs and small renovations.

“I do like working with my hands,” said Schroen. “There is a lot of important work to be done.”

During high school, Schroen volunteered with Flower City Work Camp, a ministry that utilizes Rochester churches to deliver a range of services, including home repairs, sports camps, children’s activities, and yard work.  

As for his executive role with a student chapter of Habitat for Humanity, it involves scheduling volunteer days, transporting students to build sites, raising awareness of housing issues, and fundraising. Dartmouth students volunteer with the Upper Valley Habitat at least two weekends per quarter.

In the future, Schroen plans to combine his studies in biology and government in a career in the patents arena. During the summer, he interned with a law firm in the San Francisco Bay area that specializes in intellectual property. After graduation, Schroen plans to return to the firm, eventually attend law school, and develop an expertise in biological intellectual property.

“You’re always on the cutting edge,” he said. “I know I want to go into this field.”

As well, Schroen is interested in playing a leadership role in the emerging field of Christian bioethics, especially in regard to emerging biological technologies and inventions.

For now, when he is not hitting nails or the books, Schroen enjoys spending time in the outdoors. He recently led a backpacking trip for incoming Dartmouth freshmen. As well, the multitalented athlete participates in the men’s club volleyball team at Dartmouth.

Still, Schroen is most excited about using his tool kits and talents to help construct God’s kingdom, passions he attributes to mentoring from Christian Union. “I’ve grown a lot personally and relationally,” he said. “It’s been very valuable.” Click to Tweet
Carlisle echoed those comments. “He has definitely put the effort into cultivating and deepening his relationship with Christ,” Carlisle said. “He’s a good brother and friend.”