In a world deeply impacted by the effects of climate change, GRID’s SolarCorps Fellowship program provides an 11-month, frontline experience in the climate action movement. We interviewed Erik Rodriguez Cerda, now a full-time member of GRID staff, about his time in the recent 2021 SolarCorps cohort, and identified three valuable questions to ask yourself if you are considering a fellowship with GRID.
Question #1 - Are you curious to learn and grow your authentic self?
Finding the time and energy to gain new skills can be difficult. Nevertheless, great possibilities can come from our curiosity and action!
“Take every opportunity to learn and try things outside of your day-to-day, not only will it improve your skills, but it may also enrich your life.”
During Erik’s SolarCorps fellowship, each member of the cohort was tasked with dedicating 80 hours throughout their eleven months towards professional development. Not only did this challenge fellows to imagine their futures, it allowed them to bring their curiosity to life with a $600 professional development fund provided by SolarCorps. For Erik, that meant purchasing a membership to join the Association of Environmental Professionals, as well as enrolling in a program that trained him how to work with individuals re-entering from the criminal justice system.
Question #2 - Can you find motivation through successes and challenges?
Similar to life, work can be just as unpredictable. Obstacles can either stop us, or challenge us to find a new way towards completing a task. Regardless, it all comes down to how we let those outcomes influence our next steps.
“The biggest challenge [as a Workforce and Volunteer Development Fellow] was definitely Solar Futures. Teaching high schoolers was quite a different experience and one that required a lot of practice. My biggest success has also been Solar Futures, and getting recognition from teachers about my growth and discovery of my persona/personality in the classroom.”
If that’s not creating success from a challenge, then we don’t know what is. In SolarCorps, one is guaranteed to come across a few challenges and successes! Since then, Erik has successfully attained the new role of Workforce Programs Coordinator here at GRID, Inland Empire. Let's give Erik a round of applause!
Question #3 - Do you feel driven working in dynamic and diverse environments?
From forging relationships, to working hybrid-remotely, adaptability has been more relevant than ever. In SolarCorps, fellows are placed in numerous situations that put their flexibility to the test. In Erik’s case, the dynamic structure of the program resulted in some of his best memories:
“The community within our fellow Fellows, and the friendships that came out of it are my best memories of SolarCorps. Specifically, during our virtual retreat we participated in a panel with other professionals, and the conversation resulting from that panel was both funny and constructive/enlightening.”
Recently, Erik has been on the hunt to find a worthy replacement for his broken phone. Additionally, he’s been enjoying listening to music from artists such as Nation of Language, Arooj Aftab, and Charlotte Adigery.