Solar Jobs and Second Chances internship provides new hope for returning citizens

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July 11, 2018

“I had no idea when GRID showed up at my residence that I would be selected for an opportunity that could change my life,” said Sequarier McCoy. When we installed solar for A New Way of Life, a nonprofit that provides services to formerly incarcerated women, Sequarier, a resident there, was curious about all the commotion outside. “I never really knew what solar was about; I put my tennis shoes on and next thing you know I’m on the roof volunteering!” 

“My life took a tragic turn when I began using drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with life. As a result, along with poor choices, I was incarcerated for 11 years,” Sequarier opened up. After that first day on the roof, she saw exciting potential and an opportunity for a new path. When the JIB Fund announced a grant to fund our Los Angeles affiliate’s “Solar Jobs and Second Chances” internships, Sequarier was one of the first people to join the program. 

“I had been looking for employment with no success, then Adewale [GRID Greater Los Angeles Workforce Development Manager] introduced me to solar.” Sequarier said. The four-month internships pay a living wage while participants complete GRID’s Installation Basics Training (IBT) course, gaining hands-on experience and soft skills that will help them launch new careers. “It's because of programs like these that people like me are given the support and tools to develop to next level of confidence & self-efficacy.”

Sequarier holds a panel and gets ready to lift it to the roof.
Sequarier is a ray of sunshine on the jobsite, always bringing a positive attitude and eagerness to learn. Despite the past challenges in her life, she’s believes the “sky is the limit” now that she’s working towards a goal. 

“Never think because you’re a woman or a minority or you’ve had a few mishaps in life that you can’t put yourself back together,” said Sequarier. “You have to be persistent in what you want, be focused, and keep going for it!”