Awareness for Communities about Energy
Purpose Prize Fellow 2007
Engaging young people with their communities on issues of energy efficiency.
After retiring as Director of Academic Advising and Adjunct Faculty from The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York, Mildred Dandridge moved to California to develop her passion for engaging youth in their communities. In 2002, she launched Awareness for Communities about Energy (ACE), a program of the nonprofit Strategic Energy Innovations. With the belief that young people will catch the eye of community stakeholders, Dandridge teaches elementary and high school students about energy management and auditing techniques, then connects them to small business owners and older adults to help them improve energy efficiency. More than 300 young people have participated in the program, at eight locations in California and Hawaii. Five organizations that work with at-risk youth have adopted the ACE model, using energy efficiency as a means to engage young people and build stronger community relationships. Dandridge’s next step: national expansion with the hopes of targeting after-school programs.