I am an alumnus of AmeriCorps Project Energize, 2010. I was part of a team that worked with Community Action Opportunities. Our goal was to lower the utility bills of low income and elderly people through weatherization and education. We weatherized around 300 homes in 11 months of service.
I graduated from UNC-Asheville in 2008. I got job right out of school testing the emissions of utility and industrial stacks – I climbed smoke stacks with a bunch of equipment and tested for pollutants regulated by the EPA. I quickly learned that this is not what I wanted to do. It wasn’t the work that drove me from this job, but the realization that my work wasn’t impacting our world the way I had envisioned. My results were not driving change. I was determined to change my strategy and focus on reducing energy consumption, rather than focusing on the impacts of energy production. I wanted to address the issue upstream, so to speak. I became obsessed with energy efficiency and home construction and strived to join this industry. AmeriCorps was my stepping stone.
I’ve been with Southern Energy Management for 5 years now. Southern Energy Management is a B-Corp that strives to change the way people make and use energy. We do two things: We design and install solar systems and we work with builders who want to build green and energy efficient homes. We are one of the largest providers of energy efficiency and green services in the US. I started out as a Building Performance Field Technician, working directly with the builder and their trades. I’m now the Field Operations Manager and work with an amazing team, including several other AmeriCorps alumni. My AmeriCorps experience directly resulted in the position I have today. The hands-on weatherization experience and life skills I gained from my time with AmeriCorps have been invaluable. I am proud and grateful to be an AmeriCorps alumnus.