Washington, DC, August 06, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Lisa Benoit of St. Marys, Ohio is the winner of a national service competition, The Engaging Race. She will receive a $15,000 grant to develop her project, a healthy living program for Mentally Retarded and Developmentally Disabled individuals in Ohio, and a trip to Washington, D.C.
Benoit, who has worked at Capabilities Inc, a job placement center, for 10 years, noticed that many of the people who came to the center were overweight. Through research, she found that obesity among Mentally Retarded and Developmentally Disabled individuals is a common problem. That’s why she decided to create the Capabilities Day Habilitation Program.
The program focuses on helping clients develop health skills such as how to prepare healthy meals and how to exercise.
To help get the program started, Benoit applied for and won a grant from The National Society of Collegiate Scholars’ (NSCS) Engaging Race service initiative program which offers $1,000 to three finalists, and then $15,000 to the finalist with the best service project.
Benoit is a member of NSCS, owing to her outstanding academic performance at Kaplan University, where she is majoring in human resources.
“We couldn’t have ever done this without the help of NSCS,” Benoit said. “Changing people’s lives is what we’ve always done but to be able to do it on a much more personal level is an amazing feeling. There are people out there that need help and to now have the ability to help them is wonderful.”
The Engaging Race competition is part of an NSCS initiative to encourage NSCS members to engage in community service.
Benoit was one of three students competing in The Engaging Race service grant initiative competition. Her project received the most votes from NSCS members and met the criteria set forth by the NSCS scholarship review committee.
At the end of 10 weeks, the contestants were evaluated on their blog posts, how much they accomplished with the $1,000 grant and the impact their projects made on their communities.
Benoit will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to accept the $15,000 grant at NSCS’ Convention Honor Gala on August 16, 2009.
To see Benoit’s blog chronicling her work, visit http://dayhabfun.wordpress.com/