The summer heat can be brutal in Arizona, so on a recent Saturday morning, the Foundation for Senior Living (FSL), GateWay Community College, the Arizona Heat Pump Council and volunteer contractors joined forces for the 26th annual Cooler Start Up.
Each spring, FSL brings volunteers together to clean and repair evaporative coolers for elderly Phoenix residents in preparation for the hot summer months.
Adam Villa, a GateWay Community College student in the HVAC Refrigeration Technology program said he learned about this volunteer opportunity from his instructors Mr. Kenney and Mr. Corry.
“I thought it would be a great way to provide a service for the greatest generation in the U.S.,” said Villa.
“I worked on evaporative coolers and helped replace paddings, floats, v-belts, water distributors and flushed drain lines on five houses in Phoenix,” said Villa.
Villa said this project was a great opportunity to use the skills he learned in class.
“In one of my classes I learned how to use a multimeter (an instrument designed to measure electric current, voltage, and resistance,) and I was able to use it to trouble shoot a motor that wasn’t working,” Villa said.
In addition to using skills he learned in class, Villa learned another valuable lesson. “I learned that it’s rewarding to put my skills to use by helping others,” he said. “The seniors were very gracious and happy to see us. I plan on volunteering again next year.”
Villa says he chose GateWay Community College’s HVAC program because it’s accredited and had everything he was looking for. Villa’s goal is to graduate with an Applied Science degree in Air Conditioning/Refrigeration/Facilities in 2018 and eventually start his own heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) company in the valley.