California, the state notorious for sunny weather that leads to negative side effects like droughts. But what if there was a way to channel the energy of the sun to good use? That’s what Chapter President of the West San Gabriel Valley Youth Council and Monterey Park Youth City Commissioner Andrew Yam and Crown and Sceptre President Raymond Deng pondered on.
Yam and Deng decided that going solar would be a good idea for Mark Keppel High School, where they recently graduated from. After countless hours of research and meetings with Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Transportation George Murray and AUSD Board Clerk Robert Gin, the two developed the Solar Panel Initiative.
In short, the Solar Panel Initiative proposed to provide Mark Keppel High School with cheaper electricity. The money saved off electricity would go to other school necessities, like purchasing new textbooks, hiring new teachers, and funding extracurricular programs.
“[I’ve] noticed how much of a difference having access to money can make in a club. More money means the ability to have more supplies, hire a better coach, and ultimately increase the chances of winning a competition,” Deng said. “There are also certain benefits, like how schools can use solar panels as demonstrations for science classrooms and how going solar can be environmentally beneficial.”
In addition, there are existing examples that vouch for the benefit of solar panels. TCUSD (Temple City Unified School District) and SGUSD (San Gabriel Unified School District), both of which have launched solar energy systems, have saved an estimated $8 million. As for the high schools of Alhambra Unified School District, there is $149 million in bonds that can be used to upgrade technology. It is also worth mentioning that with their open land and parking lot, Mark Keppel High School and San Gabriel High School serves to be promising sites for the Solar Panel Initiative.
On June 6, Yam and Deng proposed the Solar Panel Initiative to the Alhambra School District Board. The initiative will be considered in future meetings.
“I definitely feel proud of the progress we have made with this project because it exemplifies what students can do with advocacy and voicing their opinions, as well as looking towards the future through sustainable energy sources,” Yam said.