The Sustainability InstituteThe Sustainability Institute

by Katherine Richards


Marine Corps, 1998-2005

A Baltimore boy with a big heart – meet Vincent. As a Marine Corps Vet, Vincent’s job took him all over the world; from North Carolina to Iraq, Japan, and Pennsylvania. Post service, he had a smooth transition back into everyday life, “they were two separate worlds with two separate sets of rules”. As most veterans hope to, Vincent returned home with a new sense of discipline, patience, and the ability to lead boldly. However, after a few temporary jobs and a period of homelessness Vincent was left dry of the drive he had when came home. And that’s when he found the Sustainability Institute. The VCC provided Vincent with exactly what it provides all its members, an opportunity. 

Not only does working as a representative of AmeriCorps give him a sense of pride, but every single skill he has learned with the VCC has been a new one. These newly acquired skills have scored Vincent an upcoming apprenticeship with local company, Energy One. New to the energy field but rapidly becoming a valuable asset to it, Vincent defines sustainability as “using the least amount of resources to make a large impact, being frugal, and being able to reach a plateau in life and maintain it”. And if that’s not a plateau enough, the VCC has enhanced this already humanitarian’s desire to volunteer and interact with the community more. “There’s a sense of fulfillment when you see a smile on a homeowner’s face”. To Vincent, helping others, mentoring youth, and empowering people isn’t a just pastime, it’s a passion. And if your heart is still intact in a solid state, hearing him express his love of children and his work with the Big Brother/Sister program will undoubtedly melt it. 

About krichards
Katherine Westmoreland Richards holds a dual-degree for International Business and Management and published an acclaimed research thesis on energy in the Netherlands. Katherine's passion for energy continued as she worked in Ecuador to help create sustainable business solutions for a reserve in the rainforest. Katherine now works on development at The Sustainability Institute and uses her experience and passion to continue to develop a sustainable Charleston.