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Making a World of Difference with Villanova Values

For most people—traveling to each of the world’s continents in their lifetime would be enough—but not for Taylor Henderson, a 2005 graduate of Villanova’s College of Engineering. In August 2012, Henderson, an account manager for Dow Solar in Colorado, achieved his goal of building a Habitat for Humanity home on every continent in the world (with the exception of Antarctica) before the age of 30.

For Henderson, who turns 30 in April 2013, the passion for Habitat for Humanity stems from his time at Villanova. “While at Villanova, I was surrounded by people who were committed to community service—whether building homes for Habitat for Humanity or volunteering with underprivileged children from the Philadelphia area,” Henderson says. “I realized that both here in the U.S. and on a global level, we’re extremely fortunate. Villanova taught me that everyone has the opportunity to make a tangible impact on the world.”

During his sophomore year at Villanova, Henderson participated in a Habitat build in inner-city Philadelphia. Then, during his senior year, he participated in a Habitat Global Village build in Khayelitsha, South Africa - a township on the outskirts of Cape Town. Four years later, in 2009, Henderson rediscovered the passion of building with Habitat International during a build in Borneo (Malaysia). It was there that he created the goal for himself of constructing a Habitat home on as many continents as possible. His travels took him to a Global Village build in Chile. Following that he led two Global Village trips; the first to New Zealand in 2011, and most-recently to Romania in 2012. The build in New Zealand was particularly special as he was joined by his mother and three other Villanova alums – Dana D’Orazio ’05, Craig Hopkins ’03 and Doug Tranter ’03. 

In addition to these international efforts, Henderson also founded Denver Habitat Young Professionals (HYP) in 2009 in order to share his passion for Habitat with others in the metro Denver area. Denver HYP has gone on to fundraise, sponsor and construct homes throughout the region. Henderson stepped down from his position as chair of Denver HYP in early 2011, and recently accepted a board position on Habitat Metro Denver’s Corporate Leadership Team.

To learn more about Taylor Henderson, his sources of inspiration, as well as the work he does with Habitat for Humanity, read “He Sets Goals and Meets Them, No Matter What,” from Colorado Builder, Legislative Wrap-Up 2012.

On a Global Village build in New Zealand: Craig Hopkins '03, Doug Tranter ‘03, Dana D'Orazio '05, Mary Henderson and Taylor Henderson '05
On a Global Village build in New Zealand: Craig Hopkins '03, Doug Tranter ‘03, Dana D'Orazio '05, Mary Henderson and Taylor Henderson '05