It’s no nine to five, that’s for sure

In fact, we actually start work every day at seven-thirty. Although, I don’t know if you can really call it work here at Mile High Youth Corps. Don’t get me wrong, only yesterday a group of twenty-four MHYC Corpsmembers installed nearly one-thousand Compact Florescent Light bulbs (CFL’s) into low-income apartments and townhomes around Greater Denver. So we definitely get things done, but it just doesn’t feel like work to me. I get to take things apart and put them back together, be alongside an incredible group of people who are passionate about what they’re doing, and meet all kinds of interesting people in the community. This is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had, and can honestly say that I look forward to going in every day.

AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation Corpsmember Brendan installs an energy-saving light bulb.

We’ve now been going into homes in the surrounding community for over two weeks, and it feels like only yesterday we were in orientation playing team building games or listening to zealous talks about wall and attic insulation, among other things.

The morning routine always starts with a group of us stretching in a circle, answering random questions or discussing a new development in energy conservation, and voicing our safety concerns for the day. Next, we get our supplies for the day and head off to destinations around Denver.

Inside the houses we install high efficiency light bulbs, sink aerators and showerheads. They might seem like small adjustments, but using 2-3 times less energy and water adds up quick, especially when you consider one CFL light bulb lasts ten years.

Andrew installs a water-saving sink aerator.

One of the best parts of our visit in the homes, however, is talking with such a wide range of people about the importance of what we’re doing, as well as things they can do to conserve energy on their own. It has really become exciting for me to see a skeptic person, cautiously let four of us into their home, and watch as they become so engaged in what we’re doing and telling them and ten minutes later, say “thank you”, three times as we leave their house. I love the people I work with, the work we’re doing, and the entire experience. As easy as it comes, I don’t know if you can call it work or not, but I’ll take it.

-Jesse Kuck, Energy Corpsmember

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