Spotlight on One of Our AASPIRE Interns
On April 29, 2019, Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) established a 100% renewable energy resolution, becoming the largest school district in the U.S. to make this commitment. Behind this movement was Charles Hua, who helped launch and organize the 100% Renew Madison campaign. A student at Harvard College, Charles is interning this summer with the City of Madison Engineering Division to help implement the City’s own 100% renewable energy resolution.
Charles’ interest in this field started in second grade, when his teacher emphasized two key concepts to his students: the urgency of climate change and the importance of taking initiative. Charles took these lessons to Madison West High School, where he served as president of West Green Club throughout his junior and senior year. Under his leadership, Charles led a massive fundraising effort to install solar panels at Madison West High School, raising $140,000 from donations, grants, and business sponsorships. The solar array, which will be nearly 100 kW in size, will likely be installed in 2020. Through this work, Charles was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar, providing Charles the opportunity to visit the White House and meet the President and Wisconsin’s elected officials.
Soon to enter his sophomore year of college, Charles intends to study Mathematics and Government with hopes of pursuing a career in renewable energy. As an AASPIRE intern, Charles will assist the City of Madison Engineering Division on completing its carbon emissions inventory, implementing key strategies outlined in the 100% Renewable Madison Report adopted by the City of Madison, working across city agencies and committees, and developing programs and policies to advance renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives across the City. Through this internship, Charles hopes to learn more about how local government operates, how people can make an impact in public service, what barriers different stakeholders face, and how cities can be a leader in confronting sustainability and energy challenges facing society today.