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.

SEEED Energy Corps: Interview w/ Christopher Cosley

Written by Taria Person
Posted by Treasure Hightower

Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice! This week we are highlighting a few influential moments, from one of SEEED’s Energy Corps trainees, Christopher Cosley. I had a chance to speak with him after he attended “The Grow your Garden Series,” Wednesday, September 20th, hosted by Amanda Spangler, from The Center for Urban Agriculture. The event was a “Fall Edibles” workshop, which covered the process of propagating herbs from cuttings and saving seeds.

SEEED’s mission is to “create pathways out of poverty for young adults through career readiness training, while equipping communities with environmental literacy skills.” Let’s see what Christopher expressed with us, in regards to the impact that SEEED has on young adults, and on the community of Knoxville.


[Interview with Christopher Cosley]

Taria: Hi Christopher.

Christopher: Hi Ma’am.

Taria: I’m glad that I’m finally able to speak with you.

Christopher: Most certainly. I’m glad, as well.

Taria: So Christopher, tell me about yourself. How old are you, and where are you from?

Christopher: I’m 19, and originally from Birmingham, AL.

Taria: Okay. So Christopher, what brought you to SEEED? What made you apply for the Energy Corps Program?

Christopher: Um…my want to better myself, to broaden horizons, and to obtain my goal. I didn’t know what the goal would be, but I knew SEEED would assist in me achieving it. I knew what direction—something in Business. Something where I could give back, and that would allow me to give back in a very impactful way. With SEEED, I feel like I can do that.

Taria: Wow. Thank you for sharing that statement.

Christopher: Most certainly.


Taria: In these three weeks, what have you learned from the Energy Corps Program?

Christopher: I’ve learned that, it doesn’t matter where you come from or what the circumstances are, you can achieve your goals. I’ve learned the true value of applied knowledge, not personally, but I have acquired knowledge through others, and from all that I have, which will help me with things in the future. For instance, basic self-defense. I definitely don’t want to be involved in any altercations, but a simple duck and cover, to avoid totally getting beaten up, could give me time to get away and get help. (We actually learned that at SEEED, by the way).

Taria: Nice. Sounds like you all have had some fun, and learned some essential skills in the program.

Christopher: Definitely.

Taria: And you attended, “The Grow your Garden Series” event.

Christopher: Yes.


Taria: Could you highlight some of your experience at the workshop?

Christopher: I would love to. It was pretty cool learning, exactly how to save seeds. I know the importance of learning these agriculture tips. It is a way more productive course of action than going to the store.

Taria: Absolutely.  

Christopher: You can save money. It’s good for our environment, and it’s extremely economical. I’ve already started growing two little strawberry plants, a thyme plant, a rosemary plant, a lavender plant, and a lemon balm plant.

Taria: Wow! Did you obtain these plants before or after attending the event?  

Christopher: All after the event.

Taria: That is phenomenal. Do you think that events and programs (that SEEED offers) are beneficial to the community and young adults?

Christopher: Most definitely. It’s, honestly, putting yourself out there, and taking the information. You can sit there or you could listen. It helps you in the long run, today…right now. SEEED is super beneficial.

Taria: My final question for you. What is one thing that any young adult needs, in order to be successful?

Christopher: First you need desire. Once you have that desire, you have to be determined. I actually say, you have to have three things. First, you need desire. Second, you need to be determined. Third, you need God. You need some form of religion or practice, which keeps you leveled and keeps you in the right direction.

Taria: Thank you so much Christopher. It was a pleasure speaking with you today.

Christopher: Yes. Thank you.


Please join SEEED in congratulating Christopher Cosley in his endeavors, during the Energy Corps Program! Thank you so much for checking out SEEED’s Weekly Voice, and don’t forget to like, share, and leave us a comment. Until next time, keep growing!