The Serenity Soular project grew from a seed that was planted in fall 2012, when Swarthmore College professor Giovanna Di Chiro connected with .O, the caregiver at Serenity House. Professor Di Chiro saw the potential for collaboration after learning about the ideas brewing at Serenity House, which included a backyard vegetable garden, a roof for the garage, and other visions to improve the neighborhood. She then invited Swarthmore students to visit Serenity House, launching the “Sustainable Serenity” collaboration that ultimately generated the Serenity Soular concept. After discovering that the garage would not hold the weight of a garden, the team accepted an offer by Swarthmore Professor Carr Everbach of the Swarthmore engineering department to donate a solar panel for the roof. Professor Everbach led a series of workshops on solar power over the summer of 2014 which culminated in a public event to install the panel on the garage; it now powers lights in the backyard. That single panel had an even broader impact than illuminating the garden; it sparked conversations about bringing more solar to North Philadelphia. Residents expressed excitement to learn more about the industry and the potential to create solar jobs in the neighborhood. In December 2014, Swarthmore students and faculty and North Philadelphia residents launched Serenity Soular to build on the momentum of the garage roof installation.