Central College received an NCAA Choices Grant to integrate athletics into campus-wide efforts to reduce alcohol abuse. The grant supports projects that partner athletics with other campus departments to develop campus-wide alcohol-education projects that encourage personal alcohol-related choices that are legal, healthy, appropriate and safe.
The grant program is made possible through a donation from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation. It provides funding for a three-year project. Central received the grant’s maximum award of $30,000. Payment will be $15,000 for the first year, $10,000 for the second year and $5,000 for the third year. This payment schedule encourages the college to develop a program that will continue after the grant period ends.
“We’re very enthusiastic about getting this grant,” says Kristi Leonard, Central’s assistant dean of students. “Our desire is to build a culture that respects one’s right to abstain from drinking but also explores low-risk alcohol consumption for those who are of legal drinking age and choose to drink. With this grant, we can do more and better things through peer education.”
“This is a real achievement for Central College,” says Alicia O’Brien, associate head woman’s softball coach and senior associate athletic director. “The NCAA is pretty selective when awarding these grants, so it’s exciting they liked our ideas. We’re looking forward to rolling it out this fall.”
With the help of the grant, the college plans to integrate alcohol education into its core curriculum, partner with its community on alcohol abuse prevention, engage student-athletes in educational workshops, expand its Mentors in Violence Prevention training and more.