Arlen “Benny” Cenac Jr., CEO of Cenac Marine Services, and local philanthropist, has recently gifted the Bridge to Independence Program with two of their own golf carts to scoot around campus. “We here at the Arlen B. Cenac, Jr. Family of Companies are proud to be able to supply the Bridge to Independence Program and Alumni Federation with the resources to make their lives a little easier. If this makes things faster to accomplish their remarkable goals, we’re happy to help” said Cenac, who has served on the board for the Nicholls College of Business and the Nicholls Foundation.
At Nicholls State University, students with intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder have the opportunity to be a part of the Bridge to Independence Program. In this program, they can enjoy the full college experience while gaining the leadership and social skills needed for future employment and independent living. This is the only program in Louisiana certified by the U.S. Department of Education. Nicholls offers a Two Year Program for Students with Intellectual disabilities and a Traditional University Degree Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Students in these programs attend weekly social skill seminars and participate in campus activates and organizations. They may be eligible for Title IV federal financial aid through the Bridge program as well. Students can also receive assistance from a trained peer mentor who will attend classes with them and assist in completing modified class assignments. They may also be provided with academic coaches and peer mentors to help them successfully progress toward earning their college degree. In addition to the assistance provided, Bridge students also have many other exciting and helpful program attributes that assist in teaching life skills for each student.
As stated here on the Nicholl’s State website, Bridge to Independence provides the support services needed for eligible students attend regular Nicholls classes, participate in campus events and activities and join campus organizations. Along the way, peer mentors, trained in the Nicholls College of Education, will assist Bridge students with their coursework and socialization.
Thanks to the donation from Mr. Arlen Benny Cenac Jr., the Bridge program will use its 6-passenger cart to assist in transporting students across campus to their jobs, while the Alumni office will use its cart to haul supplies across campus to events such as tailgating.
Bridge advisor, Dr. Mary Breaud, said this new cart will be great for a program that has grown from 8 to 30 in the last two years. She recently stated, “It is especially important during inclement weather and for our students who have some health issues and walking long distances in the heat is very difficult. We feel very fortunate to have wonderful donors to the Bridge to Independence program like Mr. Benny Cenac. His generosity is greatly appreciated” in this article featured on the Nicholls State website.
Katherine Gianelloni, director of Alumni Affairs, also mentioned how helpful the donation will be when she stated, “This will allow myself and my staff to spend more time connecting with our alumni and our students in order to generate much-needed support for the Alumni Federation and Nicholls as a whole. We are truly fortunate to have donors like Mr. Benny, who love our alma mater and the Nicholls Alumni Federation as much as we do.”
To learn more about Mr. Arlen Benny Cenac Jr. and his philanthropy work, please click here.