Then I came across New Sector Alliance, an organization that provides fellowships to prepare emerging talent from across the nation for high-impact careers in the social sector - exactly what I was looking for! I applied and was accepted as a Resident in Social Enterprise, then packed my bags and flew across the country, and began my service for RE-volv in September. Throughout the year, I applied what I learned during my training with New Sector Alliance to support RE-volv’s growth and help build organizational capacity. Now as I reflect on my year of service, it’s remarkable to see how much I’ve learned and accomplished.
Working for a small start-up nonprofit presented a unique and exciting opportunity. I was able to gain substantial experience in a number of different areas - communications and marketing, strategic planning, web design, event management, crowdfunding, and more - and I was able to have a measurable impact on the growth of the organization. Helping RE-volv complete its second project, a 22 kW solar installation for the Kehilla Community Synagogue, was particularly rewarding; I helped manage our crowdfunding campaign that raised $56,070 from hundreds of donors across the country and around the world, and I even helped install solar panels on their roof! This past year has been undeniably valuable for my professional development, and it was just as valuable to be able to work closely with Andreas, the Founder and Executive Director of RE-volv, who is incredibly passionate and driven, and has empowered me to continue working in the renewable energy sector to maximize my impact.
To be honest, when I first joined RE-volv, I wasn’t very knowledgeable about the energy sector; Energy Policy was a separate specialization at my college, and there wasn’t much overlap in my Environmental Policy coursework. I knew about the various renewable and nonrenewable energy sources available, their general advantages and disadvantages, and policy obstacles, but I didn’t know about the feed-in tariff mechanism, net metering, community choice aggregation, or a plethora of the other important policies, models, or programs that will shape our energy future - all of which I learned during my service at RE-volv. This made me realize how integral RE-volv’s solar education component is to the adoption of solar energy and our country’s transition to a clean energy powered society.
Most importantly, my time with RE-volv has renewed my passion and commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability, and expanded my perspective regarding effective solutions. Rather than focusing on policy-oriented action, I have a greater drive to help fuel the citizens’ movement through empowerment, education, and direct action.
Although I am leaving RE-volv, I feel as though I will always be a part of the RE-volv family, and I am thrilled to watch the Solar Seed Fund grow and help more communities go solar!