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Brain Injury Association of NJ Selects Gloucester County's Frank Smith for Achievement Award

(Woodbury, NJ) - The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey has selected Frank Smith, Field Representative Narcotics Educator, as the 2010 recipient of the "Mimi Goldman Positive Achievement Award". The Mimi Goldman Positive Achievement Award was established in 1997 and is presented each year to an individual with a brain injury to honor his or her accomplishments. They will honor Frank at the luncheon as part of their conference on May 20th at the Eatontown Sheraton.

Frank is the featured speaker for Gloucester County's Project Aware. Project Aware is a creative partnership developed and coordinated by the County Department of Human Services to provide prevention education to 6th graders. Working together with the schools and local police staff, Frank delivers the prevention message over 50 times a year using a video and presentation of his life story.

"Frank Smith turned an extremely negative situation in his life into a way to help people learn from his mistake" said Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney.  "His story is a testament to overcoming obstacles with strength of character.  We are proud of him for this achievement," Sweeney stated.

While intoxicated and high on methamphetamines, Frank climbed a tree and fell 40 feet head first to the ground. He woke up from being in a coma 8 weeks later and learned he had a broken pelvis, jaw and suffered severe brain damage. At age 22, Frank was wheelchair bound for life. Frank got his GED and graduated from Gloucester County College and was elected President of the student body. He has an associate's degree in liberal arts and lives in Mantua Twp.

Freeholder Dr. Warren S. Wallace said, "Frank has reached over 35,000 kids and teenagers across southern New Jersey with his story. Project Aware is in its twenty-second year of service to county residents and this honor is a highlight of his many achievements." Freeholder Wallace said, "When children meet Frank and hear his story they really listen to him and connect.  His prevention message is very serious and the students respect him."  Dr. Wallace is the Freeholder Liaison to the Department of Human Services.

Mimi Goldman Positive Achievement Award
Mimi Goldman, who was pivotal in the development of the Council for the Head-Injured Community (CHIC) passed away in 1997. She was the first person with a brain injury to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey. Mimi served as a role model for the brain injury community, sharing her talents and experiences in numerous committees and events, and always with a characteristic smile.