Student, Foster Youth

‘Keep Moving’ Project Wins Grant

“Alexia Ysabel Betances is a sophomore at the College of design and social inquiry of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) majoring in Social Work. Alexia’s passion has always been to be a social worker and specialize in helping adolescents with difficulties in mental health. With her experiences throughout her adolescence, she has developed the strength and wisdom to guide others in the right direction, and change the world one step at a time. Alexia currently works at Work Opportunities Unlimited as a peer mentor to help those with disabilities in the real world. Out of her passion for helping others, she is currently a member of the organization, Champions Empowering Champions, which is a program that is designed to help those who have been in foster care. Lastly, her passion to help others has motivated her to contribute to the project “Keep Moving” as the start of something that can impact our community tremendously. In her free time, she enjoys painting, drawing, and working out, as well as spending time with her friends and family.”

A team that includes Champions Empowering Champions member Alexia Betances has been awarded a $1,000 grant by Florida Atlantic University’s Division of Research to develop an online platform to help students deal with COVID-19-related challenges. “Essentially, ‘Keep Moving’ is designed to combat at-home challenges by engaging the community and FAU students in virtual volunteering, fitness activities, motivational segments, and mental health check-ins,” said Betances, who is a sophomore majoring in social work in the College for Design and Social Inquiry. Other members of the team are Christy LaFlamme of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, Michelle Cunningham of the College of Education and Toluleke Famuyiwa of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.

The “Keep Moving” project was among more than 100 ideas submitted by FAU students in response to the COVID-19 Change Challenge organized by the Division of Research. “We know that it’s through an all-hands-on-deck effort with good science, innovation and hard work that we will beat back this pandemic,” said Daniel C. Flynn, Ph.D., vice president for research at FAU. “Great research ideas for tackling COVID-19 don’t come exclusively from high-level researchers with years of experience. These student winners show that they can contribute to the solutions.”

Betances’ contribution to the “Keep Moving” project consists of overseeing construction of the website’s mental health section, which will contain useful links, blog posts, sign-up sheets for initiatives, helpful videos and other resources. The website is currently under development. “This is the start of something that can impact our community tremendously,” she said.

Updated information on the status of the project can be obtained by contacting Betances at abetances2018@fau.edu.

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