By: Jacob McReynolds, Intern, U.S. Strategy & Operations
When I was hired by Enova, I did not expect to be painting the walls of an elementary school at 2:00pm on a Thursday – but that is exactly what I found myself doing on our day of volunteering (7/27/17) at Mitchell Elementary School. Enova Interns have taken part in a day of volunteering every year since Enova started their internship program, and I am very grateful that I was able to continue the tradition and give back to a worthy, local school.
When we first arrived at Mitchell Elementary we were divided into teams for the following tasks: painting the school walls, painting a mural, building outdoor planters, and creating a foursquare court & hopscotch area. My team, the wall painting squad, enthusiastically headed downstairs and awaited instruction.
The previous color of the school’s walls was a sea foam green that didn’t do the school much justice. The color we were painting was very akin to Enova’s signature blue, which we happily painted throughout the hallways. After four hours of painting our team was quite tired, and a few of us looked like we had an audition for the Blue Man Group that night. However, the hallways looked incredible!
In only 4 hours we had made a huge impact on the look and feel of the school. Not only did we paint almost their entire basement, but the other teams created planters and play areas for the students. Near the end of our time volunteering I realized how big an impact only one individual can make in their local community, and as an engineer, I naturally need to put that into numbers.
So, here we go.
We had a team of 10 that worked for 4 hours, and painted roughly 1200 square feet of walls. So that breaks down into 30 square feet/person/hour. The population of Chicago’s metropolitan area is around 9.4 million people1. If every person volunteered for a single hour of their year, we could paint 282,000,000 square feet of walls. In other words, if everyone volunteered .01% of their year we could paint every elementary school in Chicago 2, 3… 7-10 times.
I know that not everyone in Chicago will volunteer at some point this year, but I am very proud to work for a company with initiatives focused on giving back.