What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know: Professional tips about reducing energy and saving a dollar

Written by Taria Person

Posted by Treasure Hightower


Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice! We thank you for reading our blog and checking out the progress of Knoxville, TN’s young adults. Please take a moment to like, leave a comment and share this blog post.


On November 30th, 2017 the trainees of SEEED’s Energy Corps Program—a job training placement program that teaches life skills and provides paid training with contractors in energy trades, such as HVAC, Weatherization, solar installation, and construction—graduated and received their Retrofit Installation Technician certifications. During the night of celebration, there was entertainment, food, and a testimonial video, which allowed the community to witness the graduate’s hard work, as well as the interactions they have had with prominent figures within the city.


Please join SEEED in congratulating each of these young adults on their recent accomplishments and future endeavors!  


After graduation I had the chance to speak with Dewayne Mitchell, Energy Corps Graduate and RIT, to hear about his SEEED journey, to get his views regarding the reduction of energy, and to get insight about weatherizing homes in order to save money. Here’s what he had to say!


(Interview with Taria Person and Dwayne Mitchell)

ME: What is your SEEED journey? What brought you to SEEED?


DWAYNE: Before SEEED, my mindset was all about the streets. I only focused on my street life. I’ll say my mindset changed about a month before I got into SEEED’s program, when I tried to get serious about the skills I already had.


ME: What are a few of the skills you already had prior to joining the program?


DWAYNE: Construction and for years I worked with tools. I’m good with my hands all around. Painting, installing and fixing car stereos, and remodeling houses.


ME: How long have you been practicing these skills?


DWAYNE: About 3 years.


ME: Wow! You were already an expert.


DWAYNE: Yes. But once I got serious about my skills and decided to leave the streets, I found a flyer with SEEED’s info, and info about the program on it. Actually, my uncle brought it to my house, so I called the number and it went from there. And I guess, after graduation my main goal has just been to help people, stay out of the street life, and use my skills.


ME: That’s wonderful! I wish you well on that path.


DWAYNE: Thanks!


ME: My next question for you is: What was the most compelling and valuable aspect of the Energy Corps Program?


DWAYNE: The people we met and the connections with important people in the community.


ME: What did you learn that you can apply to your home now and/or in the future?


DWAYNE: To cut things off before you leave the house, replace light bulbs for more efficient ones, use power strips, because as you are leaving you can cut everything off at once.


ME: What advice could you give the community about weatherizing their homes?


DWAYNE: If you are able to get your house weatherized, do it. It’s usually the smallest things, and the things that you’re not looking at, that are important in the process of reducing waste.


ME: Here is my last question. In your opinion, what is the number one skill, young adults need, in order to succeed?


DWAYNE: I would say to keep pushing and don’t give up. You will succeed as long as you don’t give up.  To succeed, I think you need a mentor. Young adults need a person to look up to, someone who has connections so others can help, also.


Thank you Dwayne for this amazing interview! SEEED Community, let’s continue to figure out and implement small practices, which can help us reduce energy, waste, and save money. Until next time…keep growing!



For more blogs, information and/or updates about what SEEED is doing next, visit our FB page: @seeedknox and our website: seeedknox.com.

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