Brian K. Smith unites professionals to address social, diversity, and leadership concerns
Since March 2020, times have been incredibly challenging when it comes to teaching, learning and interacting with youth. Students have been limited with contact and engagement from their mentors, teachers, coaches, and friends in so many ways. Although safety is always a number one priority, education is one of the top essentials in life that all of us need to move our world forward. However even during a pandemic, there is one person that knows how to continue serving the community while students are in their homes and schools continue to debate whether it’s safe to open.
In the late spring, Brian K. Smith, Executive Director and Founder of EduSerc, started organizing a team of professionals to assist with the continued development and growth of leadership skills for youth. But when the murder of George Floyd occurred that caused a major social unrest in our country, his efforts for youth leadership develop took another turn that could serve to be beneficial.
So, Brian united many of his friends and partners from several walks of life to participate in an leadership team to promote his current leadership program as a solution for diversity and inclusion, talent acquisition, and supplier pipelines. Leadership development is essential for all types of professionals, but it is more vital for leading and interacting with diverse groups and communities in our country. Through the building of a strategic initiative to train youth and professionals on mentoring tactics and communication skills, Brian believes we may be able to solve many problems all at once.
Working alongside Brian are several business owners and industry professionals that believe in the fight for social justice through strategic efforts within leadership development programming for youth and adults. The IPLD core team consists of the following individuals:
Patricia Newby - President of Strategic Business Partnerships
Nathaniel (Nat) Alston - President of the Horizons Group
Cheryl Hofmeister - Supplier Diversity Manager for Merck
Steve Pilat - Collegiate Relations for the University at Buffalo
Holly Hannah - Corporate Diversity for the Workforce Pipeline Development Council
Aaron Foreman, IPLD Scholarship Development
EduSerc is working to recruit as many corporations and industry professionals to help with virtual mentoring, sponsorship and support to keep leadership development on the forefront of every student’s mind during this season. As EduSerc’s support continues to grow, a larger coalition for workforce development will help address leadership concerns in all industries.
Brian runs a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called EduSerc, which stands for Educators Serving the Community. He started the nonprofit in 1996 with the belief that if we utilized the passion of those that cared about others in the community, we can influence positive industry and career growth. This focus has built a strong program that has reached across the country in STEM, IT, culinary, finance, health & wellness and other areas.
As a combination of many efforts of personal, professional, career and technical development for youth, EduSerc created the Industry Pipeline Leadership Development Program (IPLD). The Industry Pipeline Leadership Development Program (IPLD) is a national professional leadership and personal enrichment experience that prepares individuals for technical, professional and personal success in prospective careers. This is a multi-year pipeline program that recruits, trains and prepares individuals for their steps toward career success from middle school through college.
With the support of many corporate partners, we have been able to serve many students into multiple cities such as Buffalo, NY; Chicago, IL; and the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. However, EduSerc needs the support to sustain their efforts in keeping leadership development and industry learning at the forefront of our educational growth in our country.
Brian and his team have been working to discuss the use of the IPLD program as a solution to yield well-rounded leaders that can make change not only in companies, but in our country. In the IPLD program, students interact with industry professionals to grow personally and professionally, while working on an industry project of their choice. Students develop technical solutions and mock business plans for funding or recognition. Students also participate in industry field trips to visit colleges, companies and other organizations for additional hands-on experiences in various career fields throughout the year.
Parents in this program automatically participate in an advisory board and receive training on how to help their child receive scholarships and raise their academic scores. As a whole, the IPLD program provides a holistic approach to helping families succeed in the community.