Hamburg grad raising money for Bridges to Prosperity project

Submitted photo The group of students going to Panama from Penn State. Jacob is in the white shirt between the two girls.
Submitted photo One of the bridges from another branch of Bridges to Prosperity.

Jacob Rausch, a 2012 Hamburg High School graduate and current Penn State University Park student, is part of an organization called Bridges to Prosperity, which is dedicated to help build bridges in inaccessible areas in under-developed countries.

New to Penn State, Raush and 10 other students will travel to Membrillo, Panama, for four weeks to complete their first project which is to build a pedestrian bridge for the community. The students will be constructing a 30 meter span pedestrian bridge over a gorge that will over a gorge which will allow more than 1,000 community members to cross safely to go to school, work and their doctors. This bridge over the ravine will provide a safe path for year-round travel freeing community members from worrying about heavy rains preventing them from crossing.

The students needed to fill out an application and pass an interview process in order to pick a team that would complete a successful project. Roles of the team include, but are not limited to, construction manager, translator, quality control and safety manager. Team members have been researching and training in preparation for the chapter’s first project. A plan for the completion of the project was put together by the construction committee, National Bridges to Prosperity and the chapter’s faculty advisors. The team also attended a construction training seminar.

The cost of the project includes not only the bridge and construction materials, but also the travel and housing for students and advisors. Rausch and his team are currently raising funds at the following site The fundraiser closes on May 16.


“I appreciate you taking the time to learn about a cause and a club that I am passionate about,” said Rausch in an email about the fundraising campaign. “Any contribution that you provide goes a long way to give the community members of Membrillo access to education, healthcare and jobs.”

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About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.