Advancing knowledge and realizing the human potential is at the core of the RGK Foundation's mission to improve society. "RGK Foundation recognizes brain science's immense capacity to transform individual health and productivity when translated into life-improving programs," said Gregory A. Kozmetsky, Chairman of RGK Foundation. "The Center for BrainHealth® has developed solutions that are truly transformative, and we are excited to be collaborating with the Center on several fronts."Based in Austin, TX, the RGK Foundaiton is an independent foundation that was established by Ronya and George Kozmetsky in 1966. Aaron, the founders' grandson, and his wife Tracey live in Dallas and have been contributing their personal gives of time, talent and funds to the Center for the last several years. A proponent of the Center's high performance brain training program called Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Tactics, or SMART™ training, Tracey explained her enthusiasm, "If you apply the Center's high performance brain training strategies, you will really see a difference in how your brain functions on a daily basis. Adopting the skills has helped me think more strategically, more creatively and more meaningfully." She added, "The principles span generations and apply to every lifestyle. We are able to incorporate them with our teenage children, our parents and in our professional and personal endeavors."
In its most recent grant to the Center for BrainHealth, the RGK Foundation donated $500,000 to expand two existing higher performance brain training initiatives in Austin, San Antonio, and the greater Central Texas area.
The programs will be delivered through the Center for BrainHeatlh's translational arm, the Brain Performance Institute. One initiative, known as Warrior SMART, is tailored to empower current and former military service members on and off the battlefiled. The other initative, called Adolescent SMART, focuses on helping middle school students reach their full academic and personal potential.
"These programs target populations dear to the foundation's heart: those who honor our country service in the military and our nation's youth," said Aaron Kozmetsky.
"The continued expansion of the Adolescent SMART program is important for advancing the Center's goal to increase student achievement and reasoning ability, regardless of socioeconomic status, in diverse communities," explained Jacquelyn Gamino, Ph.D., director of the Adolescent Reasoning Initiative.
As a kick-off to the RGK Foundation sponsored initiative, teachers from Central Texas School districts have traveled to the Center for BrainHealth this summer to learn how to implement SMART in their middle school classrooms. RGK funds will also support a regional liaison in Austin who will help the Adolescent Reasoning Dallas-based team maintain the SMART program's fidelity and collect research data.
RGK Foundation support for Warrior SMART began by deploying brain training teams to Texas State Technical College in Waco and The University of Texas at San Antonio where there are large veteran student populations.
"We are grateful for RGK's support in this strategic move that helped us reach an area with one of the highest concentrations of veterans and active-duty service members in the United States," said Matthew Neyland, head of the Warrior Training Team and former U.S. Marine Corps Officer. "Our training leverages leadership and strategic thinking skills learned in the military, bridging the transition from the battlefiled to civilian life."
"We are deeply grateful to The RGK Foundation and the Kozmetsky family," said Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D., the Center's founder and chief director. "They are truly agents of change pushing forward better brain health for all."