ARISE Life Skill Lessons and Staff Training

A non-profit since 1986
Experience counts

Evidence-Based Life Skills Lessons and Professional Staff Training
Call Us: 1-888-680-6100
Skype ID: ariselife-skills

Special Honors


  • Sept. 1, 1988: In recognition of his spirit and environmental concerns, Dade County Commissioners designated N.W. 97th Avenue in Miami “Edmund F. Benson Boulevard”. The same day, Mayor Steven Clark proclaimed the observance of Edmund F. Benson Day in Dade County. Benson received a Proclamation which was read into the Congressional Record, extolling the manner in which this dedicated man serves his county and his country.
  • Jan. 29, 1989, Washington, D.C.: Elected to the Executive Board of the Committee for a National Recycling Policy.
  • Feb. 6, 1989: Invited to serve on the Dade County School District’s new Environmental Awareness Advisory Committee, charged with reviewing all construction material specifications to reduce the amounts of formaldehydes, trichloro-ethylenes and benzenes in materials, furnishings and other school equipment. He is now its Chair.
  • April, 1989: Concerned Residents of Kendall (Miami) presented Edmund F. Benson with its Community Achievement Award for “providing significant leadership and excellence improving the quality of life in Kendall.”
  • April/May, 1989: Modern Maturity Magazine, a publication of 24 million subscribers, featured Benson on its “Spotlight” page for “Taming the Miami Monster”, Dade County’s infamous garbage incinerator.
  • May 11, 1989: Voted an honorary member of the Dade County Food Service Workers Association, the first such distinction.
  • Nov. 3, 1989: Elected Chairperson, Dade County Public Schools Pesticide Committee.
  • Nov. 29, 1989: The Giraffe Project, Langley, WA, honored Benson with its award for men and women who risk their comfort and serenity to do the unconventional with creativity and spirit.
  • April, 1990: Appointed by Dade County Commissioners to the blue-ribbon Citizens Advisory Committee looking into the Public Health Trust and Jackson Memorial Hospital.
  • April, 1990: Nominated to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Integrated Pest Management Peer Review Committee created to establish IPM programs in public schools across the country.
  • May 27, 1990: Re-elected Chairman of the Environmental Committee of the Dade County Council, PTA/PTSA.
  • May 31, 1990: Elected Commissioner of the Citizens Commission on School Food Nutrition, affiliated with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, D.C.
  • June 1, 1990: ARISE Foundation is awarded a National Achievement Award by the National Environmental Awards Council “Searching For Success” campaign.
  • Sept. 11, 1990: The Miami Herald presented Edmund F. Benson with its prestigious “Spirit of Excellence Award” acknowledging his contributions in “making South Florida a better place to live.”
  • Oct. 17, 1990: Elected Chairperson of the new Dade County Environmental Advisory Task Force established to provide the Board of County Commissioners with recommendations on environmental aspects of the 1,200 County-owned and managed buildings, including the airport, seaport and the 760,000-sq.ft. Metro-Dade Center.
  • Oct. 9, 1991: ARISE Foundation, the Hospital Consortium, and MedX, a medical waste disposal service, held a one-day seminar, “Environmental Enhancement Programs for the Health Care Waste Industry”, informing hospitals from all of South Florida on waste reduction, recycling, indoor clean air, Integrated Pest Management, how to create their own environmental task force. Subsequently, it has been repeated with continuing success.
  • Oct. 24, 1991: Miami Arena was packed with 14,000 students for ARISE Foundation’s “Great Expectations” seminar featuring esteem-building role models in a half-day verbal and graphic demonstration of the “I can make a difference” attitude. Attorney General Janet Reno, then Dade’s State Attorney, swore in 5,000 Safety Patrol members as ENVIRO-COPS.
  • 1992: President George Bush, through the National Association of County Organizations, cites ARISE Foundation as one of his “Thousand Points of Light” for its exemplary ENVIRO-COPS program.
  • Feb. 24, 1992: Joined Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet in its Washington, D.C. meetings with members of Congress to emphasize concerns that current environmental policies fail to take into account the special needs of children, urging support for the Circle of Poison Prevention Act.
  • Mar. 19, 1992: Elected Chairperson of Dade County Public Schools’ Environmental Awareness Advisory Committee.
  • April, 1992: ENVIRO-COPS and “The Facts of Life” television series were regional finalists for the 1992 Environmental Protection Agency Administrator’s Award Program, selected from among numerous projects in eight states furthering the effort to “prevent pollution in all its forms to achieve and maintain a clean environment for the future.”
  • Apr. 2, 1992: Received the 1991-92 Dade County Public Schools’ “Exemplary Dade Partners Award”, for outstanding activities by a non-profit foundation (County-wide) in partnership with the schools–primarily ENVIRO-COPS and “The Facts of Life” television series this year.
  • Apr. 22, 1992: 173,000 children pledged to protect the environment as ENVIRO-COPS in a County-wide televised “swearing in” ceremony during a Dade County Public Schools Board meeting.
  • May 14, 1992: Metro-Dade Mayor Steve Clark declared May 19 ENVIRO-COPS Day in Dade County, saluting these youngsters who are working with Metro-Police, Metro Department of Environmental Resources Management and the County’s Fire Department, learning all about conservation, waste reduction and home safety.
  • May 14, 1992: 5,000 youngsters in grades 2 through 6 enjoy a “Great Expectations” seminar of entertainment and education at Miami’s James L. Knight Convention Center and are sworn in as ENVIRO-COPS, enviro-smart kids pledged to protect their environment.
  • May 19, 1992: Metro-Dade’s Commission votes unanimously to install (Benson’s) scrubbers and filters retro-fitting the incinerator–the end of a 10-year battle!
  • June 22, 1992: Construction begins as a crane lifts the roof at MedX, Florida’s largest hospital waste incinerator to install anti-pollution devices.
  • June 24, 1992: ENVIRO-COPS received a Certificate of Environmental Achievement from Renew America, a Washington, D.C. based national environmental organization, for its success in protecting the environment and setting “a positive example that can help other communities meet environmental challenges.” The program is listed in Renew America’s 1992 Environmental Success Index, the most comprehensive guide to the nation’s environmental programs.
  • September, 1992: Metro-Dade County votes $75,000 to fund ARISE Foundation’s expansion of the ENVIRO-COPS program with ENVIRO-COPS Clubs in every elementary school, to be led by ENVIRO-MENTORS under the guidance of a full-time Dade County Public Schools coordinator.
  • Oct. 13, 1992: Benson’s Environmental Awareness Advisory Task Force requested a Proclamation be passed by Metro-Dade’s Board of County Commissioners establishing Oct. 19-23 as Lead Awareness Week.
  • Oct. 19, 1992: Major press conference in the Mayor’s conference room on lead. The Skyway Elementary School’s ENVIRO-COPS Chorale performed.
  • Nov. 6, 1992: 600 new ENVIRO-COPS sworn in at Nova University Elementary School.
  • December, 1992: $60,000 grant from the Metro-Dade Police Department’s Law Enforcement Trust Fund will finance publication of 100,000 copies of a Superhero comic book, combining the exploits of Marvel Comics’ Namorita and ENVIRO-COPS, to reach at-risk children in a medium they relate to with environmental, safety and health messages they can understand.
  • Feb. 17, 1993: Dade County School Board, following the recommendation of its Environmental Awareness Advisory Committee, voted to drastically reduce carpeting in classrooms and throughout the entire system.
  • May 1993: Choice Champion Award for adults who embody the phrase “Winner Never Gets Older”
  • 1995: 1995 National Poison Prevention Award presented by Jackson Memorial Poison Prevention Center for developing a program to teach kids about the poisons in their homes.
  • October 1996: Miami Dade Community College Partners in Action and Learning Award- For the best agency working with the schools service learning center.
  • October 1998: Dade partners Hall of Fame Award-Winner for three years in a row for the best partner in a non-profit category working with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
  • October 14, 1998: Allstate Leadership Award for State of Florida-Highest award for a program teaching inner city children safety guidelines.
  • November 4, 1998: Providers Appreciation Award-from Cove Halfway House providing service above and beyond.
  • March 18, 1999: Proclamation from Board of Commissioners Miami-Dade County- For educating youth on the poisons in their home. There are 5 million children poisoned a year in the United States.
  • April 11, 1999: Proclamation from Board of County Commissioners Miami-Dade County- for assisting youth in developing life skills, character and ethics and safety smarts.
  • 2004 – NOVO Award Finalist, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
  • 2005 – NOVO Award Finalist, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce



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