October 11, 2021

Scott Young is a Program Manager 3 in the Energy Technology Area, working on energy efficiency standards for household appliances and commercial equipment. Scott joined the Lab in 2012 after a journey that took him from his native Canada to Stanford and the University of Southern California.

Scott is also an active volunteer, and has found it rewarding to participate in many Lab-sponsored volunteer activities. We spoke with him about what he finds interesting and rewarding about volunteering.

What volunteer activities have you participated in at the Lab?

I've done a few things at different times. I’ve volunteered at the Lab booth at the Solano Stroll. I also volunteered for the BLAZES program, where elementary school students would come to the Lab and we would show them some examples of science experiments. I’ve spoken to high school students about research happening at the Lab and what a STEM career is like. And over this summer a colleague and I hosted two high school interns through the Experiences in Research program.

What do you find rewarding about volunteering? Why do you do it?

One of the things I like is meeting other people from the different areas of the Lab, and finding out what other people do. When you volunteer, you get exposure to a different group of people who you wouldn't normally meet at work.

I also find it rewarding to work with children. A lot of the Lab’s volunteering opportunities are directed towards children, and helping them develop. And that’s a great way for me to contribute [to the community].

Volunteering in the community also lets me get a feeling for what questions people have about the Lab and our work, or just their general feelings about the Lab.

What would you say to someone who was interested in volunteering with a Lab-sponsored program?

To someone who might be interested but had not volunteered before, I would say try it. Do it at least once and get the data you need to decide if you like it or if it is rewarding. Do something that you can fit into your schedule and then you can decide if it was that good or not, and you can determine whether you want to do it again.

That's a very “scientist” way of describing it.

Well, people wonder if they are going to like it or not, or if it will work out well for them. You won’t know until you do it.

Scott and other Lab volunteers at the 2019 Solano Stroll

Interested in Lab-sponsored volunteer programs?