ROCKY MOUNT — Dozens of college students are out of the classroom and in the field for an invaluable experience. They are all members of the Summer 2000 Hurricane Floyd Recovery Corps.
Maurice Moody's summer job is to play with kids impacted by the floods, but he often finds himself listening instead.
"I just sit down and listen to their problems," Moody says. "I try to give them as much advice as I can because I've been through pretty much everything."
While Moody was in college across the state, the flood hit his parents' house in Rocky Mount. He is one of 150 college students spending their summer helping with social issues in flooded areas.
Three out of four members of the Recovery Corps are from schools inside theUNC System. About half are graduate students or seniors; 95 percent come from communities that sustained at least moderate damage from Hurricane Floyd.
"I talked to one child and she was like, when it rains, she said she's afraid because she thinks that her house may go away and things like that," says Recovery Corps member Lukevia Pitt.
John Battle, Rocky Mount Recreation Supervisor, says the activities give the kids a chance to not think about the flood.
"When you're having fun, you don't have time to think about what happened," Battle says. "You just release yourself. Part of recreation is just to release your mind and just have pure fun."
TheNorth Carolina Department of Health and Human Servicesis paying for the student work, up to $10 an hour in some cases. They say every dollar invested will pay big dividends toward the long-term recovery.