Empowering Communities

Students light the way for countries hit by natural disasters

February 28, 2020

Watch students in action at ComEd’s Black History Month Solar Spotlight program.  

The powerful and devastating Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas in September 2019. The tropical cyclone disrupted life for thousands of people. Nearly six months later, many communities across Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands are still without power.

Students involved in ComEd’s Solar Spotlight program during Black History Month used science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)  to assemble a backup power source to help those in need.

During the two-day STEM education program, African-American high school students from across northern Illinois learned about solar energy and how it can make a difference in the world.

“I’m learning about a future in STEM while helping people,” said Genesis Johnson, Solar Spotlight participant. “I’m glad I’m here.”

Students worked alongside ComEd professionals to build portable suitcases that provide backup power for lights, cell phones and computers during emergencies. The suitcases will be sent with personal notes from the students to areas devastated by natural disasters, including Kenya and the Bahamas.

“I recommend this program to anyone,” said student Kennia Reed.  “I feel so empowered to be a part of it.”

Solar Spotlight is one of several programs ComEd has created to engage the next generation of local talent and increase diversity in STEM fields.

 “This program is only for African-Americans, and it feels good to be a part of something,” said Brooklyn Sellers, Solar Spotlight participant. “I’ll be coming back to participate in Solar Spotlight for as long as I can.”

For more information,visit ComEd.com/SolarSpotlight