In the final class of “Green Wave”, a curriculum developed by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, YouthBuild Schenectady students each presented an energy efficient home that was two floors, 1300 square feet, on four acres of land, with a budget of $150,000 and encouragement to incorporate renewable energy sources. Erica Melendez envisioned a hay bale home that featured solar shingles among other energy efficient products allowing her to reduce her costs by more than $80,000. She believes that “doing this project helped to expand my thinking as to how traditional homes can be built and how we can implement sustainable structures in everyday life”, states Melendez. Vika Werlin learned “in the process of choosing this design . . . sustainable resources are a necessity and we cannot keep building with such a reckless demand”. In addition to their classroom instruction, students used the internet to research materials and labor costs, building materials, and alternative types of green homes. Students from this class discussed our ongoing project at 843 Emmett Street and how sustainable components will provide savings for residents. Our studies are ongoing and our students are thoughtfully engaged to change their lifestyles and assist a family become a homeowner. ”I am very proud to be a YouthBuild Schenectady member. . .” -Aaron Timmons