One of the nation’s highest honors for community service and volunteerism was awarded to an alumnus of the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU) for the work he has done through FLIP, FIU Leadership in Practice.
Oscar Grau (PMBA ’10, BBA ’03) of Miami Lakes, Florida was among 103 recipients from around the country presented with a Jefferson Award in a June 20, 2011 ceremony in Washington D.C. This award is widely regarded as the “Nobel Prize for Public Service.”
In 2009, Grau and fellow alumni founded FLIP to provide high school students with the motivation and connections needed to attend college, set high goals and reach their potential. FLIP has already helped over 100 at-risk high school students.
“Growing up, I was very lucky to have a strong support network, but this is not the case for everyone,” said Grau, a senior sales representative with Eli Lilly. “Through FLIP, I can give back and provide guidance for those in need.”
Grau has led FLIP’s finance committee, helped with events to raise funds and awareness, served as moderator for a service project and helped create workshops for volunteers and program participants.
He also was a founding member and president of the FIU Student Alumni Association (SAA), helping create SAA’s first mentorship program. In addition, he established Young Urban Professional Alumni (YUPA!).
FIU alumnus is in quite good company.
Grau and his wife, Jenny T. Grau (BA ’01), attended the event.
“I was very honored to receive the award and have the chance to speak about the importance of mentoring and being a role model,” said Grau, who addressed the group assembled for the ceremony.
Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Chicago sports teams’ owner Jerry Reinsdorf were among the notables recognized during the event.
“I was especially pleased to meet former Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn who received the Jefferson Award for the work his family’s foundation does,” Grau said.