Nebraska Students Escape Polar Vortex to Install Solar

On January 7th, 2014, students from University of Nebraska-Lincoln escaped the sub-zero temperatures of the recent Polar Vortex to enjoy two days of mild Goshen, California temperatures installing solar with GRID. The 26 students were part of the UNL Alternative Service Break Program, which aims to expose students to issues within different communities and immersing them in hands on experience to facilitate solutions. The group marveled at the diversity they saw in California, but were a diverse group themselves; from undergraduates to recent grads, from international students to a Central Valley native that came home to serve.  

Psychology major, David Orozco-Garcia, grew up in Lindsay approximately 30 miles from Goshen stated, "Volunteering gives me the opportunity to travel, help others, and allows me to learn something new about myself." He went on to say, "I wanted to meet the people I was helping, and GRID gave me that opportunity."

Yayin Yang, an Actuarial Science major from China, was excited about the hands-on nature of the work. "GRID Alternatives taught us how to use tools,? Yayin said, ?and then we used them by ourselves! I like what GRID Alternatives offers and I would like to continue volunteering with them."

"Our commitment to provide families in need with access to solar technology has never been stronger, and what better way to broaden that commitment than to teach young leaders across the nation the value of our work," said Tom Esqueda, Central Valley Regional Director. "We feel fortunate that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln chose the Central Valley for their service trip and feel even more fortunate that they chose GRID Alternatives as a partner.?

Our work provides triple bottom line benefits to communities we serve: economic relief for low-income families, environmental benefits for our planet, and skills for our volunteers to gain employment in the solar industry. Maybe it?s time to add a fourth in the Central Valley: providing a Polar Vortex-free working environment!

Click here to see more photos of the midwesterners in action, or read more about their day from the Visalia Times