With 2023 coming to an end, we want to express our gratitude to everyone who has supported and followed All In Energy and the work we do. A special shout-out goes to the incredible interns who joined us this year, embedding their passion and talent into our journey. Here are glimpses of the interns we had the privilege to collaborate with this year, offering a sneak peek into their journey with us.
Congratulations to Goldera Surles, for graduating from Merrimack Valley College! Learn about her journey as intern at All In Energy
AIE. ILY. As a graduate student pursuing a Master of Arts in Communication at Merrimack College while juggling being a Residence Director and a student-athlete, All In Energy granted me one of the best opportunities Covid gave us: a remote internship.
While this may not have been my first internship, it was my first working in the clean energy field. When I became the Marketing and Communications Intern, it was my job to customize engaging marketing materials and social media graphics about energy efficiency and renewable for underserved communities.
But how was I supposed to do that if I barely knew how to explain those phrases? Of course, I understood the basics of clean energy. To translate it into an appealing graphic was a different story. Different, but not difficult.
All In Energy provided the resources needed to complete my tasks effectively. The transition from learning to doing was smooth as I received training during the first week of my internship regarding energy efficiency and its various components and benefits, such as insulation, energy bill checkups, and more.
I could go on and on about what I learned, like how to use online task management tools like Asana or experiment with color palettes and contrast to create aesthetically pleasing designs. However, what I earned is a different perspective.
I had the chance to gain relationships with several members of All In Energy and understand them as both workers and people, especially the co-founders. (How many beneficial companies exist where you meet the founders?)
I earned the chance to work with a company that focused on helping underserved communities save money and supplying them with career opportunities since the clean energy industry lacks diversity. As an African American woman, I loved that approach and appreciated the inclusion of the company. Most significantly, I earned growth. I grew my knowledge about nonprofit organizations, economic justice, and climate change. This growth enlightened me about new skills I adapted and maximized the skills I possess.
Now that I’m finished with school and am figuring out what is next for me, I do know one thing: I aim to work in an environment as supportive and dedicated as All In Energy.
- Goldera Surles, Marketing and Communications Intern
Read our co-founder Rouwenna Altemose's award ceremony remarks below:
Thank you so much for this incredible award. We are just so honored to be recognized with this inaugural DEI Founders Award. All In Energy turned five this year - what a way to celebrate! When my co-founder Gabe Shapiro and I decided to start All In Energy five years ago with a mission to accelerate an inclusive clean energy economy, we aimed to tackle two interrelated problems at the same time: Despite MA having nation-leading energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, more of these resources were flowing to wealthier whiter communities with low income and BIPOC communities being left behind. At the same time, while our state had a quickly growing clean energy economy, women were underrepresented by 50% compared to the overall population and, while data is sparse, walk into nearly any clean energy company and you’ll immediately see that people of color are underrepresented in leadership roles across the industry.
We decided to create an organization that would run community-based outreach campaigns to engage residents in underserved communities and help them connect to energy-saving programs that save money, make homes healthier and fight climate change. We would simultaneously create first-time clean energy job opportunities for diverse candidates, focusing on recruiting talent from communities like those we aimed to serve. When we told people about this vision, we often got the response that this was too complicated and no one would understand what we were trying to do.
However, I’m proud to say that five years later, we are still focused on this dual approach - and it’s working! To date, we have provided jobs, paid or credit earning internships to 70 individuals, of whom 57% have been women, 57% multilingual, and 67% have identified as BIPOC or Latinx. For 74%, their work with us was their first experience in the clean energy industry. It has been so inspiring to watch the career growth of these individuals. Take Natalia, or Nat, Tanko who worked with us back in Fall 2018 as a Community Outreach Intern - their first clean energy job. After helping us engage over 125 residents through field outreach, they decided to stay in the industry. Over the past 3.5 years, Nat has advanced 5 levels from Intern to Produce Manager II, at Uplight, a software company that connects energy customers to the decarbonization goals of power providers while helping those customers save energy and lower costs. Or Grace Umana, a first generation college student whose parents immigrated to the US from Honduras. She joined our team while she was a student at BHCC to knock renter’s doors in Cambridge. She was interested in environmental justice but wasn’t sure she had the skills to jump into the industry. She totally did. She advanced through several roles with us to become a Program Manager. Grace was particularly adept at building trust with residents, especially Spanish speakers, and this allowed her to engage residents in energy efficiency programs, connect them with programs to overcome utility debt, and provide critical feedback to other vendors in the industry on how to build this trust. Recently, Grace accepted a new position at the City of Chelsea where she will be engaging residents and connecting them with a wide variety of services to address inequities. While we are sad to see her go, we see her growth as a successful demonstration of the career-launching potential of our mission.
We have rapidly expanded our outreach work, moving from an initial pilot campaign in Dorchester MA to now supporting over 50 communities statewide to connect underserved groups to the Mass Save programs. We are expanding our energy bill check-ups to help residents get them out of predatory 3rd party energy contracts and out of major energy bill debt. We are now leveraging this work to influence systemic changes within Mass Save, in collaboration with the community organizations, municipalities and key partners within the utilities. Our work has DEI at its core and we have done our best to build an organization with a diverse team, an inclusive culture, and equitable practices. And we know there is always more to be done to deepen our own understanding of equity issues, integrate the perspectives of our diverse team and formalize our commitment through our organizational practices. As we continue to grow, we are doubling down on this commitment, with plans to hire a DEI consultant this next year to help us strengthen and formalize our efforts internally and externally. (I know this isn’t a fundraising speech, but if you all know folks who fund this kind of work, I’m all ears!)
We are grateful to NEWIEE for your commitment to equity and the support your hey have provided to our team members, especially some of our early-career staff who have benefited from being exposed to such a diversity of professionals and career types and to mentorship opportunities. Thank you again for this incredible honor to be recognized with this award. We look forward to continued partnership as we all work to advance equity across the industry.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
All In Energy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to advance an inclusive clean energy economy. We bring energy efficiency and renewable energy to underserved communities, while increasing job opportunities for diverse talent in the clean energy industry.