Darren Johnson is a senior at Desert Hot Springs High School REAL Academy and attended his second solar installation in early March of this year. Darren was born in Los Angeles, California and later moved to Desert Hot Springs as a child where he grew up with his three sisters.
GRID Alternatives’ Solar Futures program gives students like Darren knowledge and hands-on training in the solar industry, along with classroom curriculum in photovoltaic technology provided by their teachers. Darren expressed his enthusiasm about his recent solar installation experience with GRID. “I’ve really enjoyed my training. The GRID staff has been very helpful and made us feel like we were a part of the team,” said Darren.
He continued, “In the classroom we learned the process of how solar systems work, how to install them, the wiring etc. On the jobsite, we get to use what we learned in the classroom and put it into action,” he stated.
Darren was excited about what he learned and was the first to raise his hand to go on the roof. When asked what his favorite part about his volunteer experience was, he said being on the roof and connecting the system. “The conduit bending was a little challenging at first because I was overbending it, but I finally got it. I even learned how to use a bandsaw which was really cool,” said Darren. Job trainees learn many skills through their hands-on experience with GRID from safety to electrical, conduit bending, solar installation and more.
Darren also expressed his feelings about the impact that solar has on the environment. “Solar is one of the most reusable energy sources that we have, because everywhere in the world you have access to the sun.”
Although his career goals are to pursue a career as a diesel mechanic, he said he is happy for the opportunity that GRID has provided in learning about installing solar.
To find out how to become an education partner, or to sign up for GRID’s Solar Futures program, contact Ingrid Murillo at 951.465.2865.