Dr. Bill Bauer, vice president of The J. Luce Foundation, announced today the first recipients of the foundation's Bauer Fund. "My family is delighted to inform our first three beneficiaries that we are honoring them with grants in honor and memory of our son Grant who passed away from suicide in 2014," Bill stated.
The Bauer Fund is one of the foundation's many initiatives to create a better humanity and world. The awards have been announced on the anniversary of Grant's passing, September 5. The grants are to be used for promotion, prevention and/or research in the areas of suicide awareness and prevention, mental health issues, and or program development for people with intellectual disabilities.
Grant had just turned 25 and, in the minds of his family, had his whole life ahead of him. He loved reading, swimming, and music and had the ability to make people laugh. His smile was infectious. Grant would not want his friends and family to continue to ask "Why" but instead to ask "How?" How can we help? How can we make a difference?
The Bauer Fund promotes the use of Random Acts of Kindness (RAK's) throughout the year but is primarily focused on GRANT Day (September 5) and Grant Week (September 5-12). The J. Luce Foundation promotes young global leadership impacting positive social change and the NGOs that support them, particularly in the fields of the Arts, Education, and Orphan Care.
Support includes microgrants and 'spotlighting' through social media and the Foundation's Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness, which features original and aggregated content. Last year the Luce Foundation declared September 5 be internationally known as GRANT Day and promote the use of Random Acts of Kindness all over the world.
The 2016 inaugural awards recipients are:
National: Fountain House
Fountain House developed the first successful working community to address the devastating social impact of mental illness. It was founded on the premise that people living with mental illness are active participants in their recovery. Each year, over 1,300 members come to Fountain House to contribute their talents, learn new skills, access opportunities, and to make new friendships.
Fountain House members, in partnership with staff, operate employment, education, wellness, and housing programs. They perform all vital community activities, including advocacy, communications, food preparation, administrative support and participation on the Board of Directors. Programs are designed to provide opportunities and to produce the desire and confidence to pursue them.
Fountain House creates a culture that transforms lives. Members experience fewer hospitalizations, improved overall wellness, a reduced sense of isolation and increased fulfillment, purpose, and stability.
Fountain House is a local working community with a global reach. Since 1948, Fountain House has inspired the creation of hundreds of programs worldwide, which serve more than 100,000 people. In 2014, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation recognized Fountain House's global influence and the efficacy of its evidence-based model with the prestigious Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.
Regional: Mid-Ohio Valley Learning About Addiction (MOVLAA)
Initiated in 2016 as a result of the rising opiate and heroin epidemic in the area, the Mid-Ohio Valley Learning About Addiction (MOVLAA) has two distinct goals: To gather and disseminate quality information about local addiction resources and services and to bring addiction awareness to the Mid-Ohio Valley through community outreach.
Mid-Ohio Valley Learning About Addiction (MOVLAA) brings addiction awareness
to the Mid-Ohio Valley through community outreach. Photo: MOVLAA.
J. Luce Foundation Scholar
Brendan Adkinson is a recent graduate of Marietta College where he majored in Biochemistry, Neuroscience, and Spanish. At Marietta, he was an active participant in the Pioneer Pipeline Program, an on-campus mentorship program that matches high school students who have intellectual disabilities with college students for vocational, academic, and social-recreational coaching. Brendan was also a letterman on the varsity football team before switching to the tennis team where he was a captain. He has a diverse range of multicultural experiences ranging from serving as a delegate to the 2014 U.S.-China Student Summit to supervising a tri-state mobile health unit that provided free health screenings in locations including migrant farmworker camps and inner-city neighborhoods.Brendan recently presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research and the Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, and Disability Conference.
J. Luce Foundation Director Tony Abdelghany, the author, Luce Scholar
Brendan Adkinson of Yale University with Luce Fellow Xuan "Isaac" He of
Columbia University. Photo: The Stewardship Report/Mangala Weerasekera.
Brendan now has a two-year research position within the laboratory of Dr. Alan Anticevic, Co-Director of Yale University School of Medicine's new Division of Neurocognition, Neurocomputation, and Neurogenetics. The laboratory harnesses the combination of task-based, resting-state, and pharmacological functional neuroimaging, as well as computational modeling approaches, in order to mechanistically understand neural circuit dysfunction in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. "I wake up everyday feeling blessed to be doing something that I love and excited to be making a contribution to efforts like these," he says of his work in the Anticevic Laboratory. "The balance between one-on-one patient interaction and the other facets of our research is perfect for me."
Brendan plans to apply to M.D.-Ph.D. programs and eventually pursue a career in clinical research centered around mental illness. He says his interest in mental health is rooted in the loss of his best friend, Matt, who took his own life after a secret battle with drug addiction before their senior year of high school: "This will forever remain the most tragic experience of my life - one that will follow me wherever I go. Yet, from it, I will be able to better serve others throughout my career in research and medicine. When people go through things like this I can tell them that I not only empathize with them, but that I truly understand."
When he's not carrying out research, Adkinson is taking steps to combat the social stigma surrounding mental health. "When it comes to issues like suicide, addiction, and mental illness, we live in a society plagued by stigma and silence. I want to be a major force in bringing these issues out of the darkness," he says. He is currently looking to partner with a non-profit organization to raise funds for grants promoting in-school and on-campus mental health awareness and activism. Upon receiving word of this recognition, Brendan said, "I'm very humbled by the fact that the Luce Foundation and Bauer Fund would consider me for this award and I'm looking forward to taking further steps to embody the principles of young global leadership."
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The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org) supporting young global leadership is affiliated with Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW), raising global citizens. If supporting youth is important to you, subscribe to J. Luce Foundation updates here.