When you were sixteen, who did you want to become?

Career exploration is about discovering what you like and what you don’t—and taking chances. 

Since 2000, Climate Careers has operated as a social enterprise, offering young leaders the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience improving energy efficiency within their communities. For some, that’s not enough. 

“There's this future-thinking lens that young people today have been forced to hold—they feel this immense pressure to be a part of the solution” to the issues playing out around them, shares Wells Brown, Director of Youth Programs. Despite this, many of them “are so disconnected from social capital that they are hard pressed to find employment opportunities, let alone those that will invest in them and allow them to achieve their potential.”

Our newest expansion sets out to address this. In 2021, nineteen young alumni of Climate Careers’ summer cohort participated in an inaugural series of externships with local nonprofits, government organizations, and companies, all aimed at building genuine opportunities for them to forge sustainable futures for themselves and our planet. Leilani joined us at Rising Sun:

“Going in I was a bit nervous, but I was provided with so much support. I learned the complexity of grant writing and all that goes into it. I did research for future funding opportunities and joined meetings to get a feel for a professional environment. Throughout my time with Rising Sun, they did more than enough to make sure that I was exposed to multiple career paths.”

As our programs grow to meet the moment, we’re immensely grateful for your continued support. Help our externship offerings continue to evolve and make Climate Careers and our adult pre-apprenticeship program, Opportunity Build, life-defining periods of exploration and hope for years to come. Together, we can build career pathways for economic equity and climate resilience.





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About Rising Sun Center for Opportunity

Rising Sun is a premier nonprofit organization working at the intersection of economic equity and climate resilience in the California Bay Area and San Joaquin County. With offices in Oakland and Stockton, our workforce development programs specialize in preparing youth, women, and individuals in reentry for high-road careers and green pathways that offer family-sustaining wages. Since our founding in 1994, Rising Sun has served more than 3,050 youth and adults while helping over 55,200 households reduce their carbon footprint.