6/20/14 Summer Interns Meet Their Neighbors Door to Door to Spread the Word about the Dartmouth Solar Challenge

From rising college freshman to recent college graduates, the nonprofit Southcoast Energy Challenge has selected eleven new interns for summer employment. One of them, Aaron Orlinsky, a marketing major at the Charleton College of Business at UMass Dartmouth, sums it up. “I wanted something more than an average job. Now I’m able to help people save energy and help the climate. Meeting people, many who think progressively, has been a great experience.” Ty Carbone, pursuing a double degree in Finance and Economics at UMass Amherst, echoes, “I want to make a difference – at the company and in the world.” SouthCoast Energy Challenge interns will be knocking on doors in Dartmouth starting on July 8th. If no one is home, they leave a door hanger that has useful information about the Dartmouth Solar Challenge and its benefits, along with program contact information.

The interns were trained on topics related to sustainability and to prepare them for community outreach. “I am a shy person,” remarked Juliana Tran, biology major at Wheaton College. “I wanted this job to increase my self-confidence, to be more comfortable working with the public. Doing outreach at events and canvassing in neighborhoods will allow me to move forward in my professional life.” “Learning good communication skills is as important a part of the training, as is learning about residential energy efficiency and solar energy for hot water heating and electricity, “ observed Community Organizing Manager Diana Painter. “This is the first job for some of our interns, said Painter. “Practicing good posture and effective listening are valuable for career development.”

Southcoast Energy interns are pounding the pavement in Dartmouth during the Dartmouth Solar Challenge, which ends July 31. “Canvassing neighborhoods is one of the most effective ways to spread the message of no-cost home energy assessments and identify residents interested in solar,” explained Karen Stewart, Assistant Director of the Southcoast Energy Challenge. “We are visiting homes that are well-sited for solar and we have trained our interns in the proper techniques, like always wearing their name badges and being courteous and respectful when speaking to residents.”

Gabi Healy, a returning intern, observed, “Canvassing can be challenging, but it can be a great way to meet your neighbors. When you have a good conversation with someone at the door, you get a real energy boost, because you feel like you have helped them save money with a home energy assessment or an opportunity to look into solar, which really lowers their carbon footprint.” So the next time you see a young person wearing a Southcoast Energy Challenge t-shirt and a broad smile, choose to meet and greet; it may save you energy and money.

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