Students from across the US have found the perfect way to spend their spring break – by participating with GRID Alternatives in the Solar Spring Break project. Students travel to underserved communities around the world, including California, Colorado, New York, Nicaragua, and Washington DC, where they install solar for neighborhoods and families in need.
Universities participating in Solar Spring Break include:
- Arizona State University
- Beloit College
- University of California, Berkley
- Claremont McKenna College
- Duke University
- University of Michigan
- University of North Carolina
- North Carolina Central University
- University of Nevada, Reno
- Northeastern University
GRID Alternatives is a 501(c)(3) certified non-profit organization that focuses on providing and implementing solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families. To do this, they rely on community partners and volunteers who share a passion for providing the benefits of clean and local energy to those in need.
Why Students Are Participating
Solar Spring Break is the kind of project that requires energetic and forward-thinking students. Students get to provide low-cost energy to families who need economic help the most. The average American home pays $200 monthly for power. Solar power can cut that cost nearly in half, not to mention the environmental benefits of reducing or potentially eliminating carbon emissions from the home. Another great benefit for students is hands-on experience with solar energy, an industry that is growing rapidly and providing job opportunities for soon-to-be-graduates.
Eden Sipperly, an Environmental Science major at UNC-Ch (BA, ’15) and current Lab Assistant at EPA Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma & Lung Biology, found her time at Solar Spring Break well spent, saying, “I was initially drawn to this opportunity so that I could impact a wider community outside UNC with like minded students from my organization. We [were] excited to help a new community while digging deeper into the environmental science logistics we already enjoy studying!”
- Students cannot sign up as individuals for Solar Spring Break – they must recruit at least eight other students to form a team.
- A $500 non-refundable deposit is due per team (not individual) upon registration.
- Teams are expected to raise $5,000. Check here for some tips on how to raise money.
- Transportation costs fall upon the student teams, including airfare and ground transport (rental cars, for example, to get to and from the work site from the provided housing).
- Teams are responsible for their own food.