Reflecting on a year of service

Read about Devin’s reflection on his year of service:

As I look back on my service year with Energy Corps it is the people who stand out to me.  This started as early as our pre-service orientation, when our group of people mostly new to Montana and all new to each other bonded in both a personal and professional capacity that allowed us to not only work together throughout the year, but also to become friends through and beyond our service.  This connection held strong for our several full group service projects and trainings throughout the year, as well when I was travelling around the state weatherizing homes, as I made sure to meet up with other Energy Corps members whenever I passed through the various towns they lived in.  The human connections are what I will remember most from these weatherization trips themselves as well.  The stories that I share, the ones that really stick with me, are the ones that featured the people that shared parts of their lives with us; by expressing how grateful they were, or by telling stories that highlighted the uniqueness of their character.  I was aware that the service work I was doing would be helping people, getting that type of immediate feedback and personal interaction after physically providing a service to someone really validated the importance of what we were doing.  This immediate validation is also what stands out to me from my educational activities outside of weatherizing, especially when working in schools or with children.  When teaching students about renewable energy, my goal was to impart some knowledge but more importantly get the kids excited about what we were talking about.  This led me to focus more on interactive activities like building solar powered toy racecars, or miniature solar ovens they could use themselves.  All of my best memories from the education portion of my service come from the excited reactions kids (and their parents) had to these activities.  There are other parts of my service with Energy Corps in Montana that I consider vital to my year here, valuable skills gained and personal experiences that I will carry with me, but it is the human interactions that I had throughout Montana that really shaped my Energy Corps experience.

 

DSC_0481Devin Rothman graduated from Earlham College in May 2014 with a B.A. in Environmental Science. He has worked doing active conservation and stewardship both with a land conservancy in Ann Arbor and a forest preserve in New Zealand. He also has experience teaching both volunteers and as a teaching assistant while at Earlham. Devin will serve at NCAT this year, weatherizing low income homes and educating communities about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

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