Mesa, Arizona ~ When Allison Boley went to school, she wanted to learn how to make a difference. The new Benedictine University Mesa chemistry instructor is doing just that and has already reached a significant milestone early in her career. Boley’s Mesa team of the nonprofit Arizona Sustainability Alliance (ASA) is among 40 groups that won a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant in September.
Boley’s proposal suggested installing energy-efficient windows into low-income homes in the Mesa area. Doing so reduces both the expenses of the neighborhood as well as its energy usage and carbon footprint, implementing social justice along with sustainability and resilience.
Benedictine University’s mission and vision reflect its Catholic and Benedictine identity. Hallmarks of a Benedictine education include stewardship (responsible use of creation) and community (serving the common good). Boley is living these values and applying them in the Mesa community.
“My goal in Mesa through the Arizona Sustainability Alliance is to simultaneously educate residents on how they can live sustainably and save money while doing it,” Boley said. “My plan is to basically go into these neighborhoods, give them something sustainable and educate them at the same time.”
This group is already poised to make a huge impact in the Mesa community, thanks to the grant. However, Boley admits they could use a lot more help from anyone interested in volunteering.
“We absolutely need help, especially from students,” Boley said. “This is a way to give back. We’re an organization that really wants to focus on the connection between the environment and people. We’re trying to make a better world for people.”
The next step requires selecting the proper neighborhood to install the windows that meets specific criteria. The neighborhood should be multigenerational, support low income individuals and be free of vandalism.
Boley’s mission won’t end there. She’s already taking steps to kick off her next big venture to convince the City of Mesa to use 100 percent renewable energy. She also hopes to partner with Watershed Management Group to develop solutions through the use of rain water and gray water to help with water conservation. Her group is also partnering with Save the Family, an organization that transitions families out of homelessness, presenting ways to save money and the environment at the same time.
If you’d like to volunteer, you can contact her at email@example.com.
Benedictine University Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine was named among "America's Top Colleges" for the seventh consecutive year in 2017 by Forbes magazine. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (602) 888-5500, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu/mesa.