Dublin Site: From Strangers to Ice Skaters

By Lily, LIFT (Leader-In-Field-Training)

Now that we are in week five of the CYES program, the Energy Specialists (ES’s) have definitely bonded with each other and their managers. If you walked into the Dublin site right now, you would see our ES’s playing cards during break, sharing stories and laughing all of the time. However, this was not the case a couple weeks ago. One of our main challenges at the Dublin site has been making the ES’s feel comfortable with each other, with me as their LIFT, and with learning from their managers. Despite the countless ice breakers we played and the personal stories shared during training week, I could sense that the Energy Specialists were still not completely comfortable with us or each other. So, how did we go from complete strangers to friends who ice skate together after work?

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I knew the Energy Specialists were more intimidated by the managers. So, I began initiating conversations when the managers were not there. With me, the ES’s felt free to express themselves and share deeper, personal stories. I found that the ES’s only felt comfortable with me after I opened up to each of them individually. Soon enough, we all warmed up to each other, and they eventually began to grow closer to the managers as well.  Now that we are all friends and we even hang out after work together. With the awkwardness gone, the Energy Specialists, managers and I all enjoy going to work every day!

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Fremont Site: Let’s Go Solar!

By Gerron, LIFT, Leader-In-Field-Training

            Over these past five years, here at Rising Sun, I’ve accumulated so much knowledge in the fields of energy and water conservation. I’ve practically have become a mobile resource guide. The way I look at it, on the one hand my experience as an Energy Specialist has taught me to become more of a professional in terms of self-identity and communication. While on the other hand, participating as a LIFT has taught me to establish a clean system of operations while managing my use of time efficiently. With the help of this program, I was fortunate enough to be provided with many opportunities for growth in public speaking as well as learning more myself and my work habits. Whether it was as an Energy Specialist doing Green House Calls or as a LIFT doing professional development workshops, the knowledge I’ve consumed is immeasurable.

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            With the introduction of different solar variations and appliances, I’ve learned the importance of going solar and now plan to become a solar engineer. This is why this very program, is so important to me. I’ve developed as a manager and leader, and now I’m on a greater path professionally.

Santa Rosa Site: One Light Bulb at a Time

By Lauren, Leader-In-Field-Training

It all started in fall of 2011. I was sitting in my Careers class when our teacher announces that we will have a guest speaker. In walks a man and who immediately starts talking about energy efficiency and how we can help our community. At first, I wasn’t particularly interested. What did this have to do with me? We already recycled and turned things off when we weren’t using them. He was offering positions at Rising Sun Energy Center to be an Energy Specialist. He had gotten my attention. I asked question after question. “What does the company do?” “Why is this so important?” “How do I apply?” He answered each question with ease and passion, which encouraged me to apply for the job. I was an Energy Specialist that fall, as well as the following summer. But what does this little story have to do with anything?

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Well, here I am, 4 years later as a LIFT. So much has changed since I first joined the program. Rising Sun has expanded as a whole, and we are serving more cities than we ever have before! This expansion means hiring more youth, installing more light bulbs, and having a larger impact. Through CYES, I’ve gained important professional skills, allowing me to mature and find myself. This nonprofit has given me more than I ever thought I would obtain from a single job. We’re working towards one common goal–to save the environment. And we’re doing it one light bulb at a time.

Stockton Site: To Lead and Inspire

Jose, LIFT (Leader-In-Field-Training)

Rising Sun Energy Center has become an important stepping-stone for accomplishing an immense goal that I’ve had since I was a little kid: being a role model and inspiring others. Being one of the first LIFT in the Central Valley is truly an honor. I have the opportunity to be a mentor and also a friend to the new Energy Specialists this summer, and it’s just a blessing.

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           When my manager and I first started the Energy Specialist training, I was anxious to learn everyone’s stories and life journeys. I knew this would allow me to better understand and hopefully help them overcome any obstacle. We have not only worked as team performing Green House Calls, which help the community and environment save energy and water, but we also have built lifelong friendships. This program has made me step outside of my comfort zone, which I really appreciate because it has pushed me to utilize and enhance all my skills. Being a LIFT this year has given me the chance to improve myself in every aspect, and also improve my community, which I’m very thankful for. As the program comes to a close, I hope to continue to develop my skills, lead, and inspire my Energy Specialists.

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Fairfield Site: Energy Conservation, A Routine We Should All Practice

By Jerald, LIFT (Leader-In-Field-Training)

We all use energy when we turn on a light, charge our phones, and if you’re using a computer right now, well, you’re using energy as we speak.

The main source of how we get our energy is from fossil energy. The burning of oil, coal, and natural gas creates fossil energy. This form of energy is non-renewable. But we also have other forms of energy that are renewable such as solar, wind, hydropower, and many new sources of energy that are being developed today.

We as individuals can help lessen the burden load by conserving and being more efficient with our energy usage. Here are a couple tricks I use for myself:

1. Walk, bike, skate in the neighborhood instead of driving.

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2. Traveling? Try to carpool

3. Purchasing a sports car? I’d rather get a gas efficient hatchback car. There’s no point of going 0-60 in 3 seconds in the freeway and using half your tank. Go to the track if you want to go that fast!

4. Unplug chargers! I take my chargers with me so when I need to recharge, I just plug my devices till it’s time for me to leave.

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Turning off and unplugging appliances is another routine we can all start to develop in conserving energy and causing less pollution on our planet. Rising Sun helps me as an individual to conserve energy and water, and I do my best to educate our Energy Specialists, clients, and even my personal acquaintances about their usage of resources. We can make a positive difference every single day by doing a small kindness and helping our planet prosper.