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Sustainability Scholars Gain Valuable Summer Experiences

Sustainability Scholars
The 2014 Sustainability Scholars presented on their summer projects to their mentors and other sustainability professionals in Uptown Charlotte.

This summer, approximately 50 Davidson students participated in scholarship or internship programs designed to help them engage with the world and gain experience relevant to their career goals.

While some of the summer programs have been in place for many years and others have only just begun, student interest in completing meaningful work during the summer months continues to grow.

In its third summer of operation, the Sustainability Scholars program enjoyed a bounty of interest from rising sophomore, junior and senior applicants, and 12 students were selected to participate. The scholars were placed with local government agencies, non-profits and businesses that tasked them with completing sustainability-related projects with real world applications.

The Sustainability Scholars lived together in uptown Charlotte for the duration of the 10-week program, where they applied sustainable practices to their daily living habits. The scholars frequently shared and learned from each other's experiences, and kept a blog to share their lessons with a broader audience.

Director of Sustainability Jeff Mittelstadt said, "By living together, the scholars don't simply learn about sustainability in isolation in regards to their specific organization. You can't fully understand sustainability at a bank if you don't also know how it works at a farm."

Sustainability Scholar Amy Lamb '16, a biology major from Kissimmee, Fla., worked at the urban farm cultivated by the non-profit Sow Much Good, which aims to bring organic produce to an area of Charlotte considered a "food desert" because of its lack of healthy food options. Lamb helped manage the farm and recruit volunteers.

"It was great to work with people who encouraged my passion for farming and who were constantly involved with the community," she said.

Lamb added that working for Sow Much Good confirmed her aspirations to pursue a career in agriculture. "Working at Sow Much Good taught me important things about farming that have been lost in the big agriculture industry," she said.

Visit the website for more about the Sustainability Scholars program.