By: Courtney Boyd, Solarcorp Volunteer Training Fellow
Clay Chism and Bilal Qassem are from different parts of the world that are no strangers to conflict. But these two sure know that the key word in team leader is “team”. Their friendship stands out among the crew of volunteers, as they work together to help one another achieve important goals.
These guys met at Ecotech Institute where they were in solar classes together working toward a degree in Solar Technology. Bilal recently graduated and Clay is almost there. But what really makes them stand out is their mutual commitment to GRID, each other, and their bigger goals.
Clay is veteran from Mississippi but he is looking for a job in the solar field right here in Colorado. And Bilal is interested in taking his experience and knowledge back to his home in Palestine. They often participate as team leaders on our installations in and around Denver, even heading up into the mountains with us. In fact, they share rides and expenses to help one another get to the installs. Both have completed and are continuing to intern with us, working hard to keep the warehouse in shape, among other things.
Out on the job site you can really appreciate their experience. Bilal is smart and a good teacher. And Clay is intelligent and brings a great sense of humor and excitement along with his knowledge. Learning from them is a great opportunity for our less experienced volunteers, because they have passion plus education and hands on skills. Any employer would be lucky to have one of these two!
While carpooling to an install outside of Denver we stopped to pick up Clay at his apartment. When I asked Clay if he was the diligent master behind the jigsaw puzzle coming together on the coffee table, he replied, “Nah, Bilal gets the credit for that one”. Their friendship is inspiring, and our staff really appreciate all that these two give to our organization. I so often speak of them and after a recent slip of the tongue can’t help but jokingly refer to them as “Blay”.