[The Episcopal News] In this technological age, the world needs electricians, and St. Stephen’s Church, Hollywood, invites young women interested in acquiring those skills to a special training program beginning Oct. 14 and continuing monthly for two years.

The St. Stephen’s Firefly Program, funded by a grant from the Los Angeles Girls Friendly Society, will give young women ages 14 – 17 “technical training, hands-on group projects, and mentorship in a fun and interactive space,” according to an announcement from the church, which is well known for its innovative projects. The program is offered for “beginners, aspiring electricians, or young women looking to expand their skill set.”

The $50 registration fee includes necessary safety equipment and overalls (valued at $315). Scholarships are available, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Registration for the program – required by Oct. 7. – is here. Sessions will be held once a month on Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 6125 Carlos Avenue, Hollywood (Los Angeles) 90028.

Topics to be covered will include:

  • Fundamentals of Electricity
  • Working Safely with Systems
  • Wiring Methods
  • Lighting Types
  • Materials and Equipment
  • Residential Lighting Basics
  • Commercial Wiring Basics
  • Emergency Power Equipment
  • Introduction to Smart Home Systems

The class will be conducted in Spanish and translated into English.

Lead instructor will be Alberto Lucas, a parishioner for more than 20 years at St. Stephen’s Church. Lucas, father of three adult daughters, is originally from Mexico, where he “spent a lot of his childhood on the streets,” according to the Rev. Canon Jaime Edwards-Acton, rector of St. Stephen’s. As a young adult, Lucas came to the United States in search of work, holding jobs as a handyman, a cook, a welder, and a construction worker. Eventually, he became an electrician’s apprentice and then an electrician.

“Alberto has for years shared with me his dream of wanting to teach young people in the church about electricity,” said Edwards-Acton. “When the Girls’ Friendly Society grant opportunity came up, I knew exactly what we would apply for.”

The GFS grant fund was established in 2022 for churches and organizations that provide personal development programming for girls in their communities.

Valeria Lucas, Alberto Lucas’ eldest daughter and a teacher at the church’s Delaney Wright Fine Arts Preschool, is the program coordinator. “After high school, Valeria spent a year at L.A. Trade Tech taking a variety of electrical courses, thinking she might follow in her father’s footsteps,” said Edwards-Acton. “She was one of two women in a class of 60 students. She found the electrical classes fascinating but the environment sometimes intimidating, not only because it was overwhelmingly dominated by men, but because some of the older men had such antiquated perspectives on women working as electricians.

“She looks forward to creating a supportive learning environment where young women can thrive, learn about electricity, and build community.”

A flyer in English is here; in Spanish here.