Overcoming addiction: A new life through solar


August 01, 2013

A native of San Pedro, California, Sinclair has lived all across the state from Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, to Contra Costa County, and back down to San Diego.  Sinclair’s careers have been just as diverse, ranging from being a salesman for marine electronics to crafting surf boards and investing in real estate. After the housing market plummeted, Sinclair found himself out of work - and struggling with a drug addiction. During this dark period in his life he was searching for some glimmer of light; he wanted and needed to change for himself and his family.

During his recovery from drug addiction he found that glimmer he needed; Sinclair drove past an ad for a PV course at a trade school in the LA area. This was just the direction he needed professionally and personally. Through the PV program, Sinclair became NABCEP Entry Level certified and learned about GRID Alternatives through his instructor, who is a GRID Alternatives Team Leader.

Sinclair began volunteering with GRID in August 2012 and quickly became a certified Team Leader, just like his instructor. In January 2013 he was hired as a solar apprentice with an LA-based company. He attributes much of his recovery and solar career success to GRID Alternatives.

“Being unemployed was really tough on my recovery, and GRID helped me get back on track, working and interacting with people, and gaining a new skill,” said Sinclair. He added, “I hadn’t had a real tax paying job for 6 years and had a tough time getting a job with a real company.  By volunteering with GRID, it put me back on the map again.” 

Sinclair plans to work towards his NABCEP PV Installer certification to continue his bright career in solar.

“I feel like I’ve been in such a dark hole and moving into solar and working with GRID really opened my eyes…[I saw] that people really do care.  I feel good and secure and actually happy about my life.  I’m working and have lots of new friends, and things are a lot better.  Life has been really good for me," he declared. 

Thank you Sinclair for your inspiring story, great attitude, and time volunteering with GRID Alternatives!