Over the course of the spring semester, the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning and the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges have worked together on the Energy Efficiency Project. Through the collaboration, New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) provided training for Geneva school teachers and community members. The project highlighted the intersection of civic engagement with environmental awareness raising efforts on campus.
Following the initial NYSERDA training sessions, attendees and their respective organizations were provided follow up support from both the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning and the Finger Lakes Institute in order to ensure training success and bring together data for future projects.
In addition to working with Geneva school teachers and community members, the collaboration also incorporated training sessions for youth at the Geneva Community Center.
Adam Maurer, the project manager of the Sustainable Community Development Program at the Finger Lakes Institute and Jordan Youngmann ’10, project coordinator of the Finger Lakes Regional Stream Monitoring Program, created and led the youth training program sessions.
“Each lesson discussed the renewable and nonrenewable resources used to acquire the electricity, heating fuel, and water used in their homes and schools,” says Youngmann, who notes that the program “outlined ways in which each student could reduce the amount of resources they used in their everyday lives.”
Maurer says the collaboration is an integral part of the Energy Efficiency project’s success. “The youth training program is another example of the natural synergism between much of the work of Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning and the Finger Lakes Institute, and the positive impact of HWS collaborative efforts. More importantly though, this program provided a valuable service to our community,” he says.
Maurer and Youngmann ran seven sessions, helping Geneva students learn about the importance of energy efficiency, sustainability and advocacy.
“These are just parts of a large scale, global issue that has now fallen into the hands of this next generation. Equipping them with the education to begin to make thoughtful and radical choices is our best hope of moving towards a sustainable, collective future,” says Youngmann.