Community Lens: Being an Ambassador Posted on August 28, 2014 by Grounded Strategies Share this post What it is like being a ReEnergize Ambassador Community Lens is a blog series that invites past GTECH partners to share their own experience work with us. This week former ReEnergize Ambassador, Ellie Gordon, shares with you what it was like being an Ambassador. I was at the Kingsley Center attending a community meeting about environmental and community initiatives when I heard a presentation about ReEnergize Pittsburgh by Zaheen, the awesome Program Coordinator at GTECH Strategies. As an ardent environmentalist and community activist, I was immediately interested in the program. When he mentioned looking for neighborhood ambassadors to provide outreach and support to residents, I was ready to sign up right there! I care about the health and wellbeing of my community, and I felt like the role of ambassador, while sounding lofty and slightly intimidating, was a challenge I was ready to take on. As a community outreach specialist and activist, I felt empowered to take on a leadership role in that capacity. Ellie, center with hat and glasses, passes out energy saving tools to her neighbors. When I met the other ambassadors, I was pleasantly surprised that the group was so diverse in terms of their neighborhood community roles, ages, professions and life experiences. Each neighborhood in the Pittsburgh area has its own distinctive qualities, and every ambassador was nicely suited to the character of her own neighborhood. As ambassadors we were all free to utilize and explore any tools and techniques we deemed most effective for our community to reach out to residents. All of us have different passions, skills and connections to our communities, and we garnered support for our work to make homes safer and healthier in many different ways. We enjoyed spending time together at our trainings and community events, and it was incredible to see the powerful changes and improvements we were able to make in our own backyard. Even when I was having a bad day, the energy, camaraderie, and interesting work we did never failed to lift my spirits. I always left our monthly meetings and our group projects with a smile! Throughout my time as an ambassador I did everything from group volunteer projects, tabling at fun events, flyering around the neighborhood and going door-to-door with my puppy in tow (all of my neighbors love her!), doing presentations at community events, writing articles for newspapers, doing leadership and outreach trainings, learning about how our homes impact our health, safety, and the environment in surprisingly powerful ways and, most importantly, how to help my own community make their homes healthy, safe and happy. I learned a plethora of valuable information and skills that helped guide me and the other ambassadors to succeed in our roles. With the knowledge gained I was better able to connect the larger, combined value of home energy efficiency improvements for residents, the city, and the world. My experience as an ambassador was truly wonderful. I obtained many valuable skills and gained knowledge that I use almost every day. I also acquired some wonderful friends and connections. I also stay involved by continuing to help out with ReEnergize when I get the chance! Join our other neighborhood Ambassadors. Check out out more information about our 2014-2015 ReEnergize Pittsburgh program happening in Allentown, Hazelwood and Homewood.