Greetings! My name is William Spivey, and I am the Leader-in-Field-Training (LIFT) manager for the Antioch site of California Youth Energy Services (CYES). CYES is a non-profit organization committed to environmental sustainability through energy and water conservation in homes around the bay area. CYES is also a youth empowerment program, in which all of the employees (energy specialists) are local youth citizens who are currently high school and college students. Together with the site and outreach managers Lonnie Carter and Jeanelle Hope, we mentor the youth energy specialists (whom we call our “Yoc-a-fellas”) by teaching them the importance of climate change and environmentalism and providing one-on-one training in professional development, which include time management, leadership skills, and assertive communication.
The program, which started on July 3, has recently concluded its third and fourth week of services in Antioch. Last week, the outreach manager Jeanelle Hope went out to the local farmer’s market at Deer Valley Kaiser to promote CYES and collect sign-ups for GHC’s. The energy specialists have done a spectacular job with the GHC’s. To date, Antioch is ranked number two in total GHC’s and ranked number one in most light bulbs installed among all ten sites. At this rate, we are on pace to surpass our site goal of servicing 250 homes. Yesterday (July 26), we swapped a whopping 88 torchiere lamps (shattering our goal of 50) at the local fire station. The East County and Contra Costa Times posted the advertisement for the torchiere-swapping event, which has successfully drawn more than a hundred residents from all around the county, including a few citizens who drove out from Berkeley. The managers and energy specialists all gathered at the station to collect all of the old lamps. Unfortunately, because the number of old torchieres to be swapped exceeded the available space in all of our cars, we had to turn away a few customers who came with their old lamps. We had only 14 remaining new torchieres in our inventory yesterday. As a result of the sudden sky-rocketed demand, we received 105 additional new torchieres from the CYES Berkeley headquarters the following day.
Despite the pace we are going, for the Lawrence Berkeley research project, we have not installed nearly as much energy meters in homes in comparison to the other sites. The Berkeley lab has asked us to help in their home energy usage summer research study by providing us with primarily energy meters (which look like game boys) to install on home appliances (such as microwaves, computers, televisions, etc.) to assess energy usage. To date, we have installed meters in 48 homes.
With only two weeks remaining in the program, I am confident that we will not only surpass our goals, but also foster the energy specialists become youthful leaders of the 21st century. Together, we can become world-class leaders!