A collaborative entrepreneurial refreshment service between Mayville State University and Griggs/Steele-Traill Special Education Cooperative that will help provide transitional life skills to students with disabilities has been chosen to receive NDAD’s inaugural Faye Gibbens Memorial Grant.
The $5,000 grant is named for the statewide charitable nonprofit’s late co-founder and longtime client services leader to help people with disabilities and health challenges. Faye Gibbens died in February 2014 at age 70.
As part of the Coffee Time Project based in Mayville, N.D., Mayville State will purchase a coffee cart and supplies in order to provide a regular service to MDS students, employees and community members. No funding will be used for personnel costs.
The service is expected to begin in early 2016, according to organizers.
Project organizers intend to seek an additional state grant to help support ongoing project operation.
“This grant award would provide support for a truly unique opportunity backed by passionate people doing great things for students with disabilities,” wrote Dr. Andi Dulski-Bucholz, division chair for Education and Psychology at Mayville State, in a letter of recommendation for the grant. “It is a model plan that could be replicated and certainly will be shared across the state of North Dakota and beyond if opportunities arise.”
Griggs/Steele/Traill (GST) students will work in partnership with college students in both teacher preparation studies, particularly for special education, and the campus’ Collegiate DECA marketing chapter to develop real-life business skills and practices, including marketing and accounting designed around the disabled participants’ abilities.
Coffee Time will help GST students “learn life skills related to employment, transition to a work setting, business processes and leadership,” according to Mayville State’s grant application. “This project increases the inclusion of people with disabilities in community life and the workforce, all critical to supporting the transition to life after school.”
NDAD presented the grant check to Mayville State University on Nov. 11.
The Faye Gibbens Memorial Grant is awarded to an agency or organization for a health, welfare, social service or education purpose for at-risk populations.
Inspired by their son, Mike, who was born with cerebral palsy, Faye Gibbens and her husband, Ron, a Mayville State graduate and Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, built the charitable nonprofit from a small Grand Forks parental support group to a statewide charitable nonprofit helping North Dakotans with a variety of disabilities and health challenges. NDAD is marking its 40th anniversary this year.
Faye Gibbens created, expanded and oversaw NDAD's client services until her retirement in 2013, and she also provided assistance and input for the agency's charitable gaming operations since their debut in 1982.
Top: Faye Gibbens.
Bottom: A group of people gathered outside Mayville State University’s Old Main Nov. 11 to represent a collaborative entrepreneurial effort to create a refreshment service, Coffee Time. Using $5,000 from NDAD’s new grant program named for late co-founder and program director Faye Gibbens, the Coffee Time program will help provide transitional life skills for Griggs/Steele/Traill (GST) Special Education Cooperative students with disabilities through a partnership with college students in both teacher preparation studies and MSU’s DECA marketing chapter. Shown in the photo: (back, from left) Dustin Olson, MSU faculty member and DECA advisor; Renae Bjorg, MSU faculty member; (sitting in back) Jason Perkins, MSU student and DECA member; Mary Stammen, GST director; and Maren Allison Johnson, MSU Grants Office director; and (front row, from left) Erin Olson, MSU teacher education student; Chris Snook, MSU student and DECA member; Chaz, GST student; Leslie Stastny, NDAD chief program officer; and Andy, GST student.