Photo by Adriana Cisneros Emerson, The Flare
Article by Rainy Harrison, The Flare
Raven Wiley strives to make sure her classmates and the college staff breathe a little easier while on campus. One way the Kilgore sophomore does that is by changing filters in the buildings.
While majoring in Instrumentation and Electrical Technology, Wiley was offered an internship with McKinstry which has helped her figure out exactly what she wants to do after graduation. McKinstry is a company that designs, builds, operates and maintains high-performance, energy efficient buildings. McKinstry is also currently assisting the college in cutting energy costs by upgrading air systems and lighting around campus.
Wiley said her internship has been “eyeopening.”
“I was very involved during the first phase of commissioning at Kilgore College. I participated in the walkthrough, was educated on different observations, helped with entering things into the checklist and wrote and took pictures of issues,” she said in a recent Q&A for McKinstry’s newsletter.
“Since I’m a student, I have insight on some buildings on campus that’s helpful during discussions. I know that in certain buildings it may be cold in the winter and boiling hot during the Texas summer, but to actually be able to go into the mechanical rooms, climb on rooftops and investigate building issues is a whole new world.”
Wiley credits her desire to make a difference as an element that keeps her going.
“This internship has shown me how vital clean air is for your livelihood, especially if it is in a space where students and faculty spend the majority of their days,” said Wiley.
Wiley, a mother of two, strives to better the earth for her children’s future. Her intention is to leave this earth knowing the world is still very much livable. At the beginning of her internship she was unaware of how many lives she would be improving, but she quickly found a cause.
“While taking out the old filters on campus, I was able to see just how dirty the air we are breathing can be at times,” she said. “Now I take a couple of breaks in the day to step outsid and get some fresh air.
I recommend this to anyone!”
This job has not only had her thinking about the air we are breathing but also about her eating habits.
“I am a vegan now. Becoming a vegan and overall clean eating has made me feel a lot more energized. And really just better about myself,” she said.
Wiley feels like with the support from her mom, Rene Wiley (an administrative assistant to vice president Dr. Mike Turpin), and her KC instructor, Alesha O’Steen, she can do anything when it comes to her profession.
Whether she’s improving air quality in people’s homes, workplaces or schools, or helping people save money and energy with their electricity, she is confident she’s making a difference.
“I’ve always wanted to make a lasting mark for the good of the environment,” she said. “This experience has helped me figure out what an amazing woman I am.”