Sustainable Earth Solutions offers students leadership opportunities

On March 6, 2014

Leadership is a trait most companies look for in the working world, and Dave Bauer is bringing a program to UB to help hone that skill while infusing a green aspect.

Bauer is the president and owner of Sustainable Earth Solutions (SES) and has been involved with the UB School of Management since 2011.The company is committed to promoting environmental change and inspiring this generation of college students to keep moving forward. It also offers a program called the Young Adults Environmental Leadership Program (YAELP) that fits with this ideal. The organization will hold its eighth annual conference March 7-8 at Greiner Hall.

YAELP was awarded the "Best for the World in Community" award this past year for its contributions and involvement in the community.

The program helps train students to deal with environmental dilemmas by instilling core values, which include: creative thinking and problem solving; project design and management; advocacy, environmental and social justice;and relationship building.

During the two-day conference, teams from eight schools and organizations arrive with an environmental issue they want to fix in their communities. The teams continue working on their projects after the conference, and after eights weeks, they can win $500.

The aim is to teach students how to incorporate these skills into real-world situations. He stressed the importance of people constantly growing and bettering themselves. Bauer enjoys working with people, college students in particular, who are interested in promoting change.

"There are two types of people - people who think they're grown up and people who are growing up," Bauer said.

UB students currently interning at SES will be participating in YAELP events.

Maritina Tsembelis, a former SES intern and a junior psychology and speech and hearing major, recalled ways the internship helped her and affected her life. She said while at SES, she developed stronger creative-solving techniques.

She said the company encouraged students to express themselves and give personal thoughts and opinions. She felt her ideas really mattered to the process.

At last year's event, Tsembelis helped by strategizing ways to increase donations and attendance. The interns would do most of the planning for the conference during their meetings.

Students are learning skills that have the power to take them far and inspire them to always improve, according to Bauer.

The internship is not paid, but it is a reward to each student who participates in the "invigorating, life-changing experience," according to Bauer.

At the beginning of all intern experiences, Bauer requires each student to take a Change Leadership Inventory (CLI).

This process is different for each person because it focuses on the individual and his or her strengths. Bauer refers to the technique as each individual's "capacity to spark change."

Carrie Gardner, the director of the internship program at UB, said the program's mentoring opportunities benefit students who apply what they are learning in school to the real world.



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