ComEd Youth Ambassadors End of the Summer Reflections

The ComEd Youth Ambassadors at Columbia College Chicago ended its summer long rigorous training on the fundamentals of the Smart Grid. The project developed by ComEd and AfterSchool Matters (ASM) partnered with the department of Science and Mathematics at Columbia College Chicago to prepare a new generation of youth ages 15-19 years of age to understand the importance on energy management and to promote higher concepts of ComEd’s initiatives.

The seven week long program at Columbia College Chicago was taught by Marcelo Caplan and Evelyn Oropeza, who also lead Scientists for Tomorrow.  In this summer long training, the students learned about the basics of electricity, energy usage and management, the pros and cons of the conventional and the new smart grid; as well integrating career readiness.

The interns also gained work experience by learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers, resume writing, building  career portfolios, and speaking to professionals in the utility industry. The teens also did public outreach at Fiesta del Sol and interviewed people in downtown Chicago about their knowledge and understanding on the Smart grid and topics associated with it.

Visit our VIMEO page to see videos of the work done by the ComEd Youth Ambassadors from Columbia College Chicago downtown region.

 Interns End of the Summer Reflections:

“My experience is a once in a lifetime experience . Not everyday do we get a chance to be taught by a college professor and get paid for it. Being an ambassador for Marcelo Caplan and Evelyn Oropeza wasn’t easy. We were pushed to utilize our maximum potential. Imagine having homework during the summer and having to do it because you wouldn’t want Marcelo lecturing you and Evelyn giving you that solemn look. But after all said and done,  I wouldn’t imagine spending my summer anywhere else than being a Columbia College Chicago. Leaving for college this fall, I always felt I wasn’t ready for this huge transition from high school to  Illinois Champaign Urbana University. But after working in a college setting, under a college supervision and college instructors I think am so ready for college . If one can make it under Marcelo and Evelyn supervision, then you can make it any where in the world, and if I would have an opportunity like this again I wouldn’t hesitate to take it because a famous saying says opportunity comes but once.” (Dabita)

“This program provides an excellent opportunity for high school students to develop professionalism in a working situation and to receive college-level education from professors. The work we do here usually teaches a lesson. For example, we host discussions not only to express our opinions, but to learn how to form a supported and detailed argument. These lessons help us to explore more of the real world and the society after school. This program is no summer camp or classes, it helps you to grow both as a person and a professional. Personally, I enjoyed this summer since it’s very enriched and I interacted with many professionals.” (Joshua)

“My experience as a Com Ed Youth Ambassador was great. I went on many field trips and learned a lot from being in this group. I learned how to make presentations and I also presented them. I learned how to project my voice better when talking in front of a big crowd. I learned how to use IMovie and other sources on a computer to help me with hard assignments. I had lots of fun going to places I have never been before. I have went to Culture centers and I went to training to prepare me, so that if I wanted to work for Com Ed in the future, I could already know what I would be doing there. I met some very nice people and they also helped me when needed. I worked in teams to write press releases. I also worked in teams to make interviews on the streets of downtown. I had a few days when I was so tired, hot, worn out, and distracted, but working for Com Ed really prepared me for high school. I am going to go to school knowing things others didn’t already know. I am happy I had the bosses that had, because they did not let me down. They encouraged me everyday, telling me that they believe in me and know I will achieve my goals. They would push us to do our best so that we could succeed in the future. I would recommend others my age to also join this group because they will teach you new things and show you that they care about you and want you to be a success in life.”(Kenyade)