In July a set of eight volunteers from GE’s Global Research Center joined youth at Schenectady’s Social Enterprise and Training (SEAT) Center in assembling frames to be installed this fall in Breathing Lights houses. The GE employees are members of the Edison Engineering Development Program, an early career accelerator that recruits young engineers from around the world. Volunteers were oriented to the project with a Breathing Lights video, given safety instructions, and taught how to do assembly and test the frames for quality. Together, SEAT students and volunteers installed LED light strips in over 100 frames.

With hot glue guns in hand the team of students and young engineers worked for five straight hours, listening to music and connecting in the basement of the SEAT Center. The group wrapped over pizza and discussed careers, college and shared experiences. The students had many questions about how best to manage college expenses, and the Edison’s shared their advice, including starting at a community college before transferring to a four-year program, furnishing your dorm room from borrowed materials from the cafeteria, and timing your breakfast and lunch so you only have to swipe your meal card once.

SEAT’s mission is to provide transformative educational and workforce experiences that create a sense of purpose and hope in our communities while connecting business to real-time solutions. A big thank you to Rebecca and Karl from SEAT for helping organize the day and to GE for their ongoing support of Breathing Lights. If you or your organization is interested in volunteering, please contact the Breathing Lights team.