For the second year in a row, students from University of North Carolina (UNC) spent their Spring Break with GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles! They saw firsthand how renewable energy benefits underserved communities. In addition, they engaged in other activities related to sustainability and workforce development. Overall, their week provided them with a deeper understanding of GRID’s work in Los Angeles and communities at large.
During their install for the Gonzalez family, GRID staff provided guidance, teaching materials, and assistance throughout the entire process. María warmly welcomed us to her home in South Los Angeles. In the end, she was thrilled with her new solar system. UNC students gained hands-on experience and an opportunity to apply theory and knowledge, initially learned in the classroom. Gloria, a Solar Spring Breaker succinctly explained: "I think you can learn about solar from watching a video or reading a book but it's nothing like actually touching the panels, nothing like actually doing the work”.
Students also joined GRID’s Outreach team to canvass in Baldwin Hills. Marisa shared her experience: “to see something that I care about being so impactful on a lot of different communities in LA is really cool!”
In addition, UNC students toured Homeboy Industries, a social enterprise that provides job training, as well as comprehensive free services to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, seeking a lifestyle change and employment opportunities. GRID Alternatives partners with Homeboy Industries to provide hands-on experience to students that are in the Solar Panel Installation program at East Los Angeles Skills Center.
We greatly appreciate the time and dedication that this enthusiastic group of students brought to GRID. We look forward to working with future UNC Solar Spring Breakers!