by Lynda F. Rysavy | Thursday, Feb 28, 2019

The Kenan Social Engagement Program at the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University is pleased to announce the selection of two new Kenan Social Engagement Program scholarship winners.  

These scholarship recipients submitted their business plans for social ventures to a panel of experts who selected two for seed grants.  

Amanda Barstow is the 2019 winner of a $10,000 seed grant to launch her social enterprise, Daisy, which is designed to provide feminine hygiene products to at-risk clients, particularly homeless women.
“I have always been interested in doing something that could address one of the many social problems facing women, a subset of the population that experiences a disproportionate amount of mistreatment and poverty,” said Barstow.  “Through the Kenan Social Engagement program, I was able to learn more about how social ventures can both do well and do good.” 
Women in vulnerable positions such as homelessness often face an additional struggle on top of the daily challenges of finding shelter, food, and work.  Staying healthy and safe during a woman’s period can be difficult due to the prohibitive cost of feminine hygiene products, lack of sanitary alternatives, and unreliable access to showers.  Structured as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Daisy will facilitate the donation of feminine hygiene products from corporate sponsors to provide comprehensive “period kits” to organizations that typically serve these women-in-need such as homeless resource centers, food pantries, and domestic violence shelters; kits will be offered at a discounted price so the organizations can focus on furthering their missions. 
“People don’t typically think to donate tampons and related products, but with Daisy, these organizations will be fully stocked to support their clients,” added Barstow. 
Wilkes Honors College student David Gorski also won $2,500 to start his social venture, Life-Metrics: a mobile app platform that establishes quantitative connections between health/usage data and psychological/physical well-being.  By bringing together a wealth of data already available with cutting-edge machine learning, Life-Metrics aims to create a world in which we all know precisely how our habits affect our lives.   

Born to Polish immigrants and raised in South Florida, David spent his adolescence involved with science institutes in the area and volunteering in his community.  He is beginning a theoretical physics Ph.D. program this fall and hopes to carry on the entrepreneurial spirit of his family. 

Each year, the Kenan Social Engagement Program enters an agreement with a local area nonprofit agency or community partner.  Students volunteer at the community partner; staff at the community partner, in turn, mentor the student volunteers.  Additionally, the students write business plans tailored not only to serve the mission of the community partner but also to create revenue streams for that nonprofit agency, making it less dependent on charitable donations and more economically self-sufficient. 

Community partners that have participated in the Kenan Social Engagement Program include; El Sol Neighborhood Resource Center, The Lord's Place, a nonprofit, Palm Beach County Food Bank, Town of Jupiter; Easterseals Florida, Mind & Melody and Path to College. 

Now in its seventh year, the Kenan Social Engagement program is funded by a grant and endowment by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.
For more information on the program see: https://www.fau.edu/honors/alumni/kenan-social-engagement-program