A partnership between Stone Soup Fresno, Reading and Beyond, and GRID Alternatives Central Valley paved way for a wonderful solar system funded through the City of Fresno Community Development Block Grants Program (CDBG), to be installed on Stone Soup Fresno. Stone Soup Fresno is a non-profit organization that serves residents of Fresno County, which includes the community of El Dorado Park in Fresno. This area is the location of many underserved members of our community and has a higher than average crime rate. Many of its residents seek to find employment and alternatives to violent activities, unemployment, and unsafe neighborhood conditions. Part of the goals of this project was to nurture leadership to create positive changes for the area.
Leading up to the two day installation there was a four-day training period where the five individual trainees were able to get experience installation solar along with being cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid certified. On January 24th and 25th, trainees and staff members worked together to install a 14 kW system with 48 panels on the Stone Soup Fresno building.
One of our dedicated volunteers, Felix Amezugbe, came to us through this Stone Soup Fresno project and began working with us having no prior experience with solar. He came to the United States four months ago and was motivated to learn more about a solar career after hearing about GRID and the growing solar industry. He hopes one day to go back to his country in Ghana and help his community with all the different skills he has learned from GRID. “I appreciate the Solar Installation Supervisor’s (SIS) taking the time to teach me how to install and how GRID helps low income families,” is a comment made by Felix and followed with, “volunteering is a win-win situation since he gets to help people and gains experience and knowledge to get a solar career.” Felix is now participating in our Installation Basics Training (IBT) program as one of our trainees and is committed to continue volunteering with GRID on future installations once he graduates from the program.
Life changing experiences and opportunities are common ground that Stone Soup Fresno, Reading and Beyond, and GRID Alternatives have which allows us to make bigger impacts on the communities we serve. This amazing project on Stone Soup Fresno and working alongside our partner, Reading and Beyond, has brought us dedicated individuals such as Felix. We are all working together to make the world a better place, leaving communities and neighborhoods better than we found them, and helping individuals find other opportunities or resources available to them. We want to thank Reading and Beyond and Stone Soup Fresno for their support and look forward to many more years of success together.