The Sustainability InstituteThe Sustainability Institute

Tag : Youth

By Katherine Richards

Youth – Chris, Corps Member

Chris

Energy Conservation Corps

We often underestimate how big of an impact we can have on someone or something. No matter how big or how small, how simple or complex, we always have a choice to leave a footprint and make an impression. Through the cracks of a house, Corps member Chris rediscovered this phenomenon.

Chris was introduced to the Energy Conservation Corps after his mom heard it advertised on the radio. As a musician, a singer, a producer, and a dad, Chris is no stranger to hard work. However, seeking something that would provide a positive and productive outlet to his life, the ECC seemed like a perfect match. Although one of the newer additions to the program, he has already refined a multitude of new skills and taken advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. One of his newly acquired skills is the art of insulation. “I didn’t realize how big of a difference sealing such a small area would make”, admitted Chris as he described his now proficient knowledge of insulation. And thus, Chris’s realization illustrates the immeasurable impacts of the ECC that not only benefit the homeowner, but the Corps member. While sealing a door in a house, a new door of self-discovery is opened. “I can now use the skills and training that I’ve learned in my own life; reducing energy use and cutting utility bills, I can now help myself and my mom”. Chris, like most of us, appreciates work that’s dynamic and hands-on opposed to sitting at a desk or taking orders. Here, success is measured by eliminating the cold drafts in a house and seeing a warm smile on the homeowner’s face. Physically seeing the difference they make in the lives of others provides an indescribable sense of fulfillment for the Corps members. Chris expressed the meaning of sustainability as “being able to sustain life”. At its very core, this is the dream that the Sustainability Institute is pursuing to create a reality.  

By Katherine Richards

Youth – Javari, Corps Member

Javari

Energy Conservation Corps

Student, soccer player, and a future in solar energy, meet Javari. While balancing his studies in the environmental field, Javari found out about the Energy Conservation Corps from his dad, who heard about it from his Pastor. Thus far, Javari has mastered a variety of new skills, one of which being the operation of the duct blaster. Apart from learning new trades in the construction realm, the ECC has impacted him in a multitude of ways. Javari has taken his time working with the ECC as an opportunity to get his hands dirty in the much-needed industry of energy conservation. Setting his sights on solar energy and his heart in sustainability, Javari is scoring goals on and off the field. When asked what sustainability meant to him, Javari responded with “creating something that can last, something that can be self-sufficient”. As eloquent as he is concise, Javari’s interpretation of sustainability polished off what the ECC is about. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership between Corps member and homeowner creating something that can last. For homeowner, it’s the retrofitting implementations that improve their quality of life. For Corps member, it’s the education and training that provides them with a new set of skills that opens a plethora of new doors into the professional field. What do they have in common? They can both be sustained, and thus, self-sufficient. As his March graduation date is just around the corner, it goes without question that Javari’s future in the solar energy industry is looking bright.