"Everything I do, I do for the next generation and the generation after them," explains Kareen. With that motivation, she worked to get all three of her kids through college. In 2010, these priorities also led her to work with GRID Alternatives and students from Berkeleys Energy and Resource Collaborative to install a solar PV system on her East Oakland home. Not only is her system helping protect the environment, but she also uses the savings to help her family and community.
When GRID Alternatives first contacted Kareen through Habitat for Humanity East Bay, with whom Kareen worked to build and purchase her house, she was hesitant. In fact, it took someone she knew personally contacting her for her to even read through the letter about GRID Alternatives. She says now that she was afraid of being swindled: I brought my kids up being both mom and dad, I had to learn to be wary, to take care of myself and them. As she worked with GRIDs Outreach staff, however, she was ultimately reassured. Now, she says, its a win-win: Im learning all about solar while seeing great savings on my electric bills.
Kareen also believes in giving back, and she works hard to care for her community. She continues to help spread the word about GRID Alternatives, educating neighbors, coworkers and her church members about the environmental and financial benefits of going solar. I tell everyone, but especially single women like me, about GRID, Kareen says. Sometimes it takes other people to help you towards good things in life. I tell people because someone had to tell me, and look what happened there! I almost missed my blessing.
In the Bay Area, GRID has installed solar for over 800 families like the Hunters, helping lower energy costs for those who need it most while engaging all of our communities in promoting better air quality and the spread of renewable energy technology.