MSU- Pepsi Refresh Grant Opportunity

Hurry and vote. Pepsi is giving away $1,300,000 each month to fund great ideas and Murray State University is in the running with a project. MSU student Stephanie Duncan, an exercise science major and an advocate for good nutrition and healthy lifestyles, proposed a qualifying project for a $250,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant. If awarded, the project will benefit the children of Western Kentucky’s entire 18-county region.

If Duncan’s grant proposal wins, MSU and the college of health sciences and human services (HSHS) would receive the financial award to fund her project. The $250,000 grant winner will be determined by votes. Duncan has already cleared one hurdle by getting her proposal qualified for voting.

Anyone can vote, once a day through Jan. 31, by texting 105545 (it’s free) to Pepsi (73774) or by going online at

Duncan serves as the outreach coordinator in MSU’s college of health sciences and human services. Her project outlines plans for a mobile health clinic that services Purchase Area schools and communities by providing free health screenings.

Within this unit, Murray State, in collaboration with the Area Health Education Center, can offer free health care to rural areas that do no have access to proper health screenings. The free mobile health clinic would travel around the west Kentucky region, which has more than 80 schools in it.

The mobile unit would provide free screenings for height/weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, BMI, bone density, and hearing and vision, as well as dental sealants and exams to all children ages six through 18 with the permission of the parents or guardians.

Individuals may vote once per day until the polls close on Jan. 31.

“There are four overarching goals for this project,” Duncan explained. “Providing free health screenings to communities and schools in Western Kentucky, lowering the body fat percentage, cholesterol and diabetes rates in kids in Kentucky, increasing health screenings to underserved and underdeveloped regions, and decreasing Kentucky’s rate of obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes in kids.”

HSHS would work with schools, family resource centers and health departments to plan the event, Duncan noted. Murray State students in nursing, education, communication disorders, and youth and nonprofit leadership would have the opportunity to gain experience in their fields by volunteering their time for the clinic.

Duncan is urging the region to act on this unique opportunity. “Together we can make western kids healthier,” she said. “I encourage everyone to take a moment to cast a vote for the health of our children in west Kentucky.”

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