Welcome to the next installment of our new Staff Spotlight feature, where we share a brief interview to introduce you to some of our amazing staff members here at GRID Bay Area! This month we’d like to introduce you to our Volunteerism & Development Fellow, Maranatha "Javi" Javines. Javi may root for the Dodgers, but they have a strong passion for making a direct social and environmental impact on the local community here in the Bay Area. Both in the field and behind the scenes, Javi is working to make the GRID volunteer experience as inclusive, meaningful and smooth as possible. Keep checking back to meet more fabulous GRID Bay Area staffers!
Maranatha “Javi” Javines, Solar Corps Volunteerism & Development Fellow
How did you come to GRID?
“Last year, I had been living in Sacramento splitting my time between working customer service and doing work in higher education policy. Even though I was very passionate securing equitable access and affordability solutions for education, my work felt very disconnected from the people I was serving and I unfortunately didn’t feel well supported. Community based action is something I’ve always felt very drawn to, so I began my search for a meaningful way to help people out with direct impact. When I found GRID online, I really couldn’t believe it was real. An organization that gets good things done with the people and for the people, is also rooted in environmental and social justice, and sustains their workers is truly hard to find. I remember thinking it was too good to be true! Fortunately, GRID makes solar and solar industry training a reality everyday, and I am so honored to have been welcomed to the team that’s making it happen in the Bay Area.”
What is your favorite GRID moment?
“My favorite GRID moment would have to be the Camp Solar in early April. Long story short, I had the amazing opportunity to support an installation for two homes located right across the street from each other in beautiful Fort Bragg - and the best part was that the homeowners for each house were family members! They were all very kind, welcoming, and grateful to see the folks out there working. A group of awesome ladies fundraised over $5,000 to support GRID’s mission in the Bay Area while one big family saw the beginnings of a solar future. We installed with them, interns from a community college and the Solar Living Institute, and SolarCorps Fellows from different offices. It was pretty amazing to see how everything and everyone came together for one cause. The nature was incredible and the work was inspiring.”
What is a fun fact about you?
“I love the Bay, but you will never catch me rooting for the Giants! After moving from the Philippines, my family and I moved around a bit but finally settled down in Los Angeles County, where I grew up. The semi-serious disses just about anywhere I go anytime I sport my Dodgers or Lakers gear are hilarious. It’s pretty funny to see people’s sports patriotism come out! I’m loyal to my LA sports teams through and through, which is somewhat hard considering all the current Finals hype and the evergreen rivalry Bay-LA rivalry... I could consider qualifying the A’s as my American League team though. Nonetheless, Go LA! “
What is the GRID Value that most resonates with you?
“Equity is the one GRID value that resonates most with me. Though renewable technology is growing rapidly, can any of us frankly say we are moving forward if we are leaving anyone behind? At the root of my action as an activist, as an organizer, as an artist, and as someone who just tries hard to be a good person leaving a significant impact in this world lies the call to action to prioritize and care for the lives and voices at the margins of society. The lives and voices of those impacted the most. We are faced with many challenges as we tackle the structures and institutions that contribute to the depletion of our natural resources as well as the negative impacts on the life around us due to our consumption and waste, but the best way to take them on is together.”