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Nicole Limper receives 2012 President's Student Leadership and Service Award

nlimper.jpgFamily Social Science senior Nicole Limper has been awarded the 2012 President's Student Leadership and Service Award for her work with Arc of Greater Twin Cities in developing a curriculum to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities thrive and become self-advocates to influence public policy.

An honors student, Limper will graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in Family Social Science and a minor in Family Violence Prevention. At Arc, Limper has run SibShops, workshops for siblings of individuals with disabilities.

Limper created a workshop on cultivating and sustaining healthy friendships, which became the first session in a larger curriculum created for her senior project. The curriculum will cover topics such as romantic partnerships, caregivers, family, and community workers.

One of the issues surrounding the curriculum was scalability. "We ran a session for five people, and it turned out really well," said Limper, "but when we ran the same session for fifty people, it wasn't as effective."

Public policy and self-advocacy round out the curriculum, with training on how to self-advocate and relate personal stories and experiences.

"It's very effective to put a face with a story," Limper said. "We help people not only learn how to effectively tell their story, but also how to create a written version of their experiences that legislators can take with them and be able to reference later."

Limper has no plans on slowing down after receiving her undergraduate degree - she will be enrolling in law school at St. Thomas in the fall of 2012 and plans on focusing on family law and policy.

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