Three years ago, when he was 21, Keith Ford of Queens, New York, was struggling with homelessness, and had to drop out of college.

While looking for a job, he learned about a paid, six-month AmeriCorps program called Green City Force.

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Ford: “I looked at the program as a way to help me get out of my situation. And I wanted to seize that opportunity.”

As a Corps member, Ford learned to do energy audits and went door-to-door teaching public housing residents how to save energy. He distributed free faucet adaptors to reduce hot water use, high-efficiency light bulbs, and window insulation kits.

Ford: “It was mainly a way to start the conversation. Many people don’t really have the awareness factor for energy efficiency.”

When he entered the program, it was new to him, too.

Ford: “I had no idea about energy efficiency or climate change. You know, it was just a term that I heard.”

Now, he’s certified in green building operations, trained in solar panel installation, and volunteers with a recycling education program. He’s back in college and excited about the future.

Ford: “I continue to strive and look for new ways to keep changing the world and making it a better place.”

Reporting credit: Alison Fromme/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo credit for image grapic: Green City Force

Eileen Mignoni

Eileen Mignoni is a South Florida-based visual journalist who has been working on stories about science, the environment, and energy for nearly 10 years. In addition to her work at Yale Climate Connections,...