Benoit presented with BEST Kids 2016 'Founder's Award'
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marilyn Benoit was recently honored with the BEST Kids, Inc. 2016 “Founder’s Award.”
Focused on mentoring, BEST Kids, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that empowers youth in foster care to build better futures, one child at a time. The award was presented to Benoit during BEST Kids’ annual Art of the Matter event in Washington, D.C.
About the award
The Founder’s Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have been instrumental in the creation and nurturing of the BEST Kids organization.
“Dr. Benoit was our first advisory board member and worked closely with our founder, Todd Leibbrand, to develop the program model that would meet the needs of the youth we serve in foster care,” said BEST Kids Executive Director Krislyn Mossman. “She helped build our advisory board with her colleagues and contacts, allowing us to have a team of expert advisors that is an envy to many nonprofits. To this day, Dr. Benoit is a faithful supporter and advisor who provides our agency with training and guidance to keep our program current and effective.”
“The foster care system is tremendously flawed and does not address the relationship needs of children in care,” explained Benoit. “The most important variable in a child’s life is having a consistent adult who keeps you safe and gives you the unequivocal message that he or she cares deeply about you. BEST Kids seeks to pair mentors who are committed to staying in a child’s life for a minimum of two years.”
Benoit, who has been involved with BEST Kids since 1999, continues to be a member of the advisory board. “Todd was a passionate and devoted advocate for a child in the Devereux Children’s Center in Washington, D.C., when I was an executive and medical director of that center. He ran the idea for BEST Kids by me and thus it all began!”
‘Doing the right thing by these children …’
When asked how she felt about the award, Benoit said, “I am privileged to have been a part of this incredible organization. It is truly an honor to be recognized for doing the right thing by these children who, through no fault of their own, face life as an ongoing challenge because of the trauma that maltreatment imposes on them. This trauma affects the emotional, cognitive and behavioral functions of the brain, which can be a challenge to repair. Relationship building ameliorates these negative consequences, and sustained mentorship – through BEST Kids – aims to do just that.”