Island School Alumna Krissy Truesdale (pictured right) from the F’13 Island School semester has been working tirelessly to bring solar power to the East Coast since before her time on campus. She is the founder and CEO of a novel charity called Solar for Our Superheroes or S4OS for short. The mission of S4OS, as can be found on their Facebook page, reads as follows: “Solar for Our Superheroes is a nonprofit organization thanking local leaders such as veterans, teachers, firefighters, and police officers with solar energy for their homes. In doing so, we are able to thank our heroes, bring together communities, and educate about renewable energy options in our MA neighborhoods”. Krissy’s inspiration for her project goes back to her childhood. She has always “been passionate about wildlife and nature. My childhood consisted of me running around in the New England forests with my best friends, making up adventures with magic and dragons, adventures in which I would always be the hero coming in to save the day”. Krissy was hooked on the concept of heroes but also of the environment. She joined her high school’s Environmental Action Committee which encouraged her to believe that she could make a positive difference. At one of the meetings with her school’s program, Krissy met a girl from Arizona who was “chatting up about solar energy in her state. I made a comment about it was too bad that solar didn't work in New England and she was taken aback; we have sunlight, why wouldn't it work? We did some research and turns out it would work, and very well, but since no one had seen it around to prove that it worked here, most people assumed otherwise. It was a cycle of inaction.” Krissy set out to break that “cycle of inaction” and struck upon inspiration for her charity in her grandfather who was a firefighter, plumber, electrician and firehouse cook all at the same time simply to pay the bills. Other members of her family have served in the Navy, ROTC or as teachers in schools so Krissy always had a profound appreciation for her family and how they had found ways of dedicating themselves to service on behalf of the community. To Krissy, “giving solar panels to these people seemed to be a perfect solution to thank them and save them money, while also creating the good examples of renewable energy that we need.”
Krissy credits The Island School for teaching her how to manage a team, how to take criticism and most importantly how to move on from a failure. She learned not to give up when an idea or a presentation turned out poorly and instead how to adapt. For Krissy, attending The Island School “solidified my passion and direction for a life of activism”. She still keeps her letters from her kayak group taped to her mirror in her college dorm and uses them to motivate herself. She also has the guiding hand of our own Christian Henry on the Board of Directors for S4OS where he provides feedback and support.
Recently, S4OS achieved official 501c3 status meaning it is a recognized charity. This, along with the fact that Krissy has found the first hero she will be giving solar panels to, a partnership with The Boston Solar Company and the hiring of her first five interns means that she is well on her way to success. Krissy is now looking to provide solar panels to as many heroes as she can find with the eventual goal of spreading the transition to renewable energy throughout all of New England. Best of luck to you Krissy! All of us here at The Island School are rooting for you!