Solar Ambassadors’ Impact in Their Community
By Connor Herndon, Coastal Carolina University Solar Ambassador
Locals Helping Locals
It is no question that members of the RE-volv team and Solar Ambassadors recognize the importance of nonprofits and the services they provide to various members of the community. The presence and intentions of Solar Ambassadors really highlights this influence of collective community work. Oftentimes, people can be wary when they are approached by a business or other organization that is trying to sell them something. Who can blame them? However, Solar Ambassadors attempt to eliminate this feeling. As Solar Ambassadors encourage different nonprofit organizations to install solar systems, they emphasize that with the help of RE-volv, this could be an extremely cooperative process. Rather than someone representing a larger, possibly profit-driven company, Solar Ambassadors invest their genuine interest and effort into the organization they are working with. This can make going solar a better, more earnest experience for the members of the nonprofit.
Building Community Ties
The Coastal Carolina University (CCU) Solar Ambassadors have held and participated in many different events to enhance our community engagement efforts. Pre-pandemic, our Solar Ambassador Team would often host tabling events on campus that include activities and educational materials for other students and faculty to learn about solar energy and sustainability. The CCU Solar Ambassadors have also attended and participated in events with Conservation Voters of South Carolina, South Carolina Solar Council, Gullah Geechee Environmental & Energy Conference, and other organizations on Coastal’s campus. Not only do we believe in helping individual nonprofits but educating others in the community about renewable energy is just as important to our team.
Our Success Stories
The Solar Ambassadors at Coastal Carolina University have successfully helped various nonprofits transition to solar energy. In 2018, we helped the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10420 in North Myrtle Beach make their shift to solar. We also worked closely with the Murrells Inlet VFW to educate and advocate about the urgency for renewable energy and finished their solar system installation with a ribbon cutting ceremony in January 2020. Coastal Carolina University highlighted our work with Murrells Inlet and the ribbon cutting we hosted through this educational video.
The CCU Solar Ambassadors are also currently teaming up with The Village Group, a nonprofit organization in Georgetown, SC that offers after school programs for children. We’re excited to assist The Village Group in going solar because they represent historic grassroots communal development, and it will give the Solar Ambassador Team an opportunity to educate members of the community in Georgetown about the importance of clean energy. Throughout their time at Coastal Carolina University, students involved with the Solar Ambassador Team have been active in the community and expanding solar energy in the Southeast!
Why I Chose to Get Involved
I chose to become a member of the Solar Ambassador Team because I wanted to educate and advocate for clean energy within my community. I admire how hands-on and experiential the role of a Solar Ambassador is. I also just really love the work that RE-volv does. The fact that RE-volv is a nonprofit organization that helps other nonprofits transition to solar energy with the use of their Solar Seed Fund makes the work I participate in feel super useful and extremely gratifying.