Benny Cenac, Houma community leader, CEO of Cenac Marine Services, and avid philanthropist, recently gifted the Bridge to Independence program at Nicholls State University with their own golf carts, which will be used to transport students around campus.
Since being founded in May 2016, the Bridge to Independence program has offered students with intellectual abilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder the opportunity to join this incredible program. Through the program, students can enjoy the full college experience while gaining social and leadership skills that are critical for future employment and independent living.
Nicholls State University, known for its family-friendly campus and caring faculty, was recognized as the safest campus among the University of Louisiana system, making it the perfect place to introduce this wonderful program.
Students admitted into the Bridge to Independence program are invited to attend weekly social skill seminars and participate in campus activities with many of the student-led organizations at Nicholls State University. In addition, students can also receive assistance from a trained peer mentor who may attend classes with them, assist in completing modified class assignments, and helping out with other general daily activities.
According to their website, the Bridge to Independence program provides the support services needed for eligible students to attend regular Nicholls classes, participate in campus events and activities and join one of the many campus organizations. Along the way, peer mentors, who are fully trained in the Nicholls State University College of Education, assist Bridge students with their coursework and socialization. To ensure these students have access to the resources they need to thrive at Nicholls State, the program also provides students with academic coaches and peer mentors to help them successfully work towards earning their college degree.
Benny Cenac, Houma Philanthropist: Focused on the Future Colonels
“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 Benny Cenac, Houma native, who has served on the board for the Nicholls College of Business and the Nicholls Foundation.
As a lifelong member of his community and graduate of Nicholls State University, Benny Cenac, Houma businessman and philanthropist, understands the importance of assisting those in his community and providing the next generation of Colonels (Nicholls State Mascots) with the resources they need to succeed. As an avid philanthropist, Benny Cenac has donated thousands to organizations across the state, including the dozens of regional, national and international causes. He is most fond of his involvement with the Terrebonne Association for Retarded Citizens, Houma-Terrebonne NAACP, O.N.E./C.H.A.N.G.E., American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Dr. Mary Breaud, a Bridge to Independence advisor, explained that the two golf carts would serve the students well, as the program has grown from 8 to 30 students in the last two years. The carts would be used to transport students who have any physical disabilities that prevent them from moving around the campus with ease.
“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, saying, “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.”
Benny Cenac, Houma son, is thankful for the incredible work occurring at Nicholls State University and the many programs that have been founded since graduating. Through the Bridge to Independence program, Benny believes making the school more accessible for all students will serve as a guide for other schools hoping to expand the college experience to students of all backgrounds, regardless of their physical or mental abilities.
Thanks to the donation from Benny Cenac, Houma philanthropist, 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.
To learn more about Benny Cenac, Houma businessman, and his philanthropy work, please click here.
For more information on the Bridge to Independence Program, you can find their Facebook page here, or learn more about where to apply here.
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