Click here to find out more!
You are here: News - Local

Published: Thursday, May. 26, 2011

Updated: 12:40 am Thursday, May. 26, 2011

Poly project turns Shandon teen's life around

38 students spend 6 weeks and 2 weekends in Shandon project to make life easier for 1 guy

tool name

tool goes here

Jacob Slattery takes a spin Sunday down one of the concrete pathways added to make his home more accessible as participants in the Poly House project watch. Click for more photos »


When asked what 16-year-old Jacob Slattery liked about his remodeled house, the excited teen couldn’t narrow it down.

“Everything,” he said.

The Shandon resident was the recipient in this year’s Poly House project, a spring quarter endeavor by a Cal Poly industrial and manufacturing engineering class that transforms a house for locals in need.

Thirty-eight students in the graduate level course spent six weeks planning and two weekends constructing Slattery’s new digs, which desperately needed a remodel to accommodate his wheelchair.

Slattery has spina bifida, a birth defect in the backbone. He’s used a wheelchair since he was 2 years old. As a result, he said he’s almost always had to ask for help.

“Everything was higher than I could reach,” Slattery said. “The main thing I like (now) is being able to move around the house. I’m really excited about it.”

That means no more bumping into walls and doors in the house he shares with mom Stacie Slattery, stepfather Eddie Haworth and little sister Sophia Haworth.

Projects keep going

Cal Poly professor Roya Javadpour started the project eight years ago with students. Through the dedicated help of new generations of students and donations from the community and local businesses, the project lives on each year. The students raised approximately $120,000 in supplies and donations for Slattery’s house. Additional help, such as plumbing and roofing, came from volunteer contractors.

“We start from zero,” said grad student Kelly Yip, 23. “If the local community doesn’t help out, we couldn’t have made this possible for Jacob.”

The efforts helped transform the Shandon home from 1,000 to 1,200 square feet, with a new bedroom for Slattery built as an addition to the house.

Counters, sinks and electrical outlets were brought down to wheelchair level. Doors were expanded. Carpet floors were resurfaced with tile and laminate for easy mobility. Concrete was added around the house so Slattery could go outside. His bathroom is new. The stovetop is even wheelchair accessible, and Slattery is excited to learn how to cook. “When he’s older, he doesn’t have to rely on anyone,” Javadpour said, noting that safety, comfort and independence were the project’s key goals.

“This is Jacob’s house now,” Haworth said. “Even if we ever move, this place is his.”

For grad student Weston Burke, the all-consuming project meant students had to put all else aside until the work was finished. But it was worth it, he said.

“I think sometimes it can be difficult to find really hands-on experiences in school,” the 22-year-old said.

“And this is about as hands-on as it can possibly get.”

About comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Tribune. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What you should know about comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. See our full terms of service here.

Here are some rules of the road:

  • Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
  • Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
  • Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
  • Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and leave him a public message.
  • Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
  • Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
  • Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
  • Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Tribune does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the username of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

Glad you liked it. Would you like to share?

Sharing this page …

Thanks! Close

Add New Comment

  • Image
Real-time updating is enabled. (Pause)

Showing 4 comments

Popular Comment Threads

Our news, your way

Get breaking news on your cell phone

Sign up for breaking news alerts from and get the latest news sent to your cell phone via text message.

Type in your cell phone number

( ) -

I accept the terms and conditions (click to view)

Keep your phone handy!

Upon hitting the Sign up! button, you will receive a message with a four-digit code at the end. Enter this number on the next screen and press the Confirm button.

Terms and Conditions:

By signing up for alerts from this site, you are signing up for a program that may include up to 5 SMS text alert(s) per alert category per day. There is no service fee charged per month but your carrier's standard text messaging and other charges may apply. You may stop this subscription service at any time by sending the text message "STOP" to 72737. You must be at least thirteen (13) years of age to use our alert services. If you are between 13 and 17 years old, you agree that you have received parental permission both to complete the registration process and to receive SMS content on your cell phone. For help, send the text message "HELP" to 72737. This service will work with ATT, Verizon, Sprint, Nextel, Alltell, US Cellular, Cincinnati Bell, Boost, Virgin Mobile USA, Celluar South, Telos, Centennial, East Kentucky Network, Cellcom, Immix and Rural Celluar.

Quick Job Search
Top Jobs


US-CA-San Luis Obispo

US-CA-San Luis Obispo
Irrigation Support Engineer/Specialist I/II/III
Cal Poly Corporation
US-CA-San Luis Obispo

US-CA-San Luis Obispo

US-CA-San Luis Obispo

US-CA-San Luis Obispo

US-CA-San Luis Obispo

US-CA-San Luis Obispo

US-CA-San Luis Obispo

US-CA-San Luis Obispo
Cal Poly Corporation
US-CA-San Luis Obispo

US-CA-San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo County Applications are currently being accepted

US-CA-San Luis Obispo

US-CA-San Luis Obispo

US-CA-Paso Robles
Post a Resume
Post a Job
See more jobs at