It is stories like the one of Eissa Ali, that galvanize the work of SEI. Eissa is from Khartoum, Sudan where he and his wife are raising two children. His background is in electrical engineering and he’s built a career in the green building industry. He is a talented professional who will do great things with SEI’s solar training. He is also someone who would have been impacted by President Trump’s travel ban. From his first contact with SEI at the Intersolar Middle East conference in 2016, his passion for solar energy and vision for the future of his community have truly inspired the SEI staff. In the brief month’s we’ve known Eissa, he’s been an incredible reminder of the impact of SEI’s mission, especially in a changing political landscape.

Eissa, despite already employed in the sustainable building industry, was inspired to do more with solar energy and to make a shift in his career. He took a chance and committed to begin his solar training journey with SEI. Of his inspiration, Eissa said “I was working in the green building industry but it didn’t fulfill my passion for renewable energy, so I decided change my career… During the last six months I finished four courses with SEI, working toward a Solar Business & Technical Sales Certificate.

Though Eissa enrolled in his first SEI class in October he’s already doing great things! Through the connections of SEI staff, Eissa has begun an internship with Alsa Solar in Dubai, all while continuing his solar training. He also joined SEI Instructor, Kris Sutton and other SEI alumni at Solar Middle East earlier in February.

SEI is proud to have awarded Eissa the Walt Ratterman Scholarship for his next solar training class. Eissa exemplifies the goals of the Walt Ratterman Scholarship fund which is dedicated to helping individuals from developing country who aim to utilize SEI’s technical training in order to bring renewable energy technologies to their communities. In 2017, SEI has committed the Walt Ratterman scholarship fund specifically to people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, to refugees and displaced persons, and to people from the developing world who see renewable energy as hope for the future.

On his future plans, Eissa affirmed that “I believe Sudan is one of the countries in the world that has huge solar resources. I’m planning to start my own business in Sudan [applying my] renewable energy knowledge and its applications.” SEI is thrilled to be a part of Eissa’s journey into solar energy. We hope his story will inspire many others, because he’s certainly touched so many at SEI already.