Meet Alecia Evans. She’s from the Westbank in Harvey, LA. She currently studies finance at the University of New Orleans (UNO), works for Harmony Neighborhood Development and is passionate about helping families get out of debt to become “bankable”. Alecia graciously and warmly welcomed me into her home for this interview.
Alecia originally learned about Green Light New Orleans through a service learning assignment in her Biology class at UNO. Looking back, Alecia is very happy she stumbled across this opportunity. Going above and beyond her class assignment, she served almost every Saturday of the (fall 2015) semester by swapping out residents’ light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs and even built a backyard vegetable garden despite her grass allergy (wearing long sleeves of course). In her time with us, Alecia installed over 600 energy efficient CFLs, which will collectively conserve 238,764 kWh, save $27,876, and reduce 270,882 pounds of carbon emissions (over the lifetime of the light bulbs).
On Alecia’s volunteer “routes”, she particularly enjoyed meeting and serving (the very appreciative) families in her city. Alecia recalls one family who was skeptical and signed up “just to see how it would play out.” When Alecia and the other volunteer arrived at their home, they couldn’t believe an organization was actually bringing light bulbs to their house for free! She loves the opportunity to meet interesting people from many different backgrounds through this experience, especially her fellow volunteers. Green Light allowed her to work with people she would not have met otherwise, and the chance to offer her financial services and knowledge to them.
Since serving with Green Light, Alecia has become more aware of her own environmental habits. She describes a newfound appreciation for the environment and her ability to make change in her community. “Because I volunteer with Green Light, my ability to help people has expanded”. Alecia explains that there is a connection between her work at Harmony and service at Green Light. Both organizations encourage and provide services for residents to live more sustainably. Harmony focuses on residents’ financial sustainability. Alecia, an Asset Building Counselor at Harmony, works with families to make them bankable. She helps people open checking and savings accounts to establish a good credit history. She looks through their credit and savings to help them remediate any credit problems to support them to be able to purchase a home. Alecia is in a position where she can support people in multiple ways to have an impact in people’s livelihood and on the environment.
After graduation, Alecia hopes to continue working at Harmony Neighborhood Development as an independent contractor to help families obtain financial stability. She also is working towards obtaining a life insurance license. She wants to help as many people as she can to reach a financially secure lifestyle. We are so grateful to Alecia and her great work!