Veteran Ann Oluwadare, due to her military commitment, wasn't able to finish the Solar Technology class she had started at American River College in Sacramento. So when she met GRID Alternatives North Valley's Workforce Development associate Masud Kiburi-Cunningham at a Women Veterans event and heard about our solar training programs, she was excited to take the next step in her solar education with GRID. She decided to attend an install and signed up for our December We Build. She shared about her empowering experience at the 2-day install with GRID staff:
"I’m Ann Oluwadare, and I’m a veteran. I met Masud at a Women Veterans event. I was excited about this opportunity to get some training and learn more about solar installation, which I had had before from a class at ARC, [so I could build on that knowledge].
The other motivation is that I plan on going off-grid someday. I’d like to learn more about the process of solar installation and maybe even do it myself. I want to live a more holistic life. I think the Sun provides all the energy I need to function, and I’m interested in steering my life in a natural way.
This experience was life-changing for me. I didn’t think I was going to get on the roof. But the employees here were very supportive and encouraging. I got on the roof, and it was an accomplishment. It was encouraging and empowering that I surpassed my fears. It was empowering to face my fears and go beyond them.
To experience this with a bunch of women was uplifting. I tend to gravitate toward fields that are male-dominated, and to see a bunch of women working together to accomplish this… I loved it.
I learned a multitude of things about solar, and I appreciate that. I look forward to participating in more installs and refining my capabilities."
Ann's experience exemplifies so much of what our Women in Solar initiative aspires to accomplish. We are inspired by her articulation of her experience, and we are grateful for her service!