This year, Darlin Velasco found herself in a situation that nearly every high school student experiences as graduation draws near: weighing numerous future career pathways and post-graduation options. Darlin knew she was interested in a career in engineering, but still felt apprehensive about her future.
“I'm not set on a specific career just yet, but I'm definitely leaning toward something in the construction field. I think being exposed to more on the job training will help me choose a career,” she said.
It wasn’t until she participated in a GRID solar installation through her Academy of Engineering and Green Technology class at Orosi High school that she truly began to envision herself in the engineering and construction field. As she bent conduit, lifted panels, and wired the inverters, she discovered skills and a passion she didn’t know she had.
“GRID Alternatives taught me something about myself that I did not know, which was that I enjoy working with tools!”
Darlin’s class connected with GRID through our Solar Futures program, which was created to provide classroom and hands-on solar education to K-14 students, with an emphasis on high school juniors and seniors. Through Solar Futures, students have the opportunity to get real-world solar installation experience with GRID and learn about career pathways in the booming solar industry.
In addition to discovering her interest in construction and passion for working with tools, Darlin was intrigued to learn about other aspects of the field, such as the importance of safety procedures and effective communication among a team of diverse individuals. She also enjoyed working with the clients, and was gratified to be doing something that had a positive impact on others.
Overall, Darlin gained confidence as a result of her newly acquired skills, and is excited to be on the path to an impactful career that she enjoys.
“I learned about the different types of tools needed on the job, safety rules and procedures and how important they are on the site, working as a team with different types of co-workers, and being able to interact and communicate with customers,” she reflected.
Help students like Darlin discover new career pathways. Support our Solar Futures program today.