Businessman, author, and advocate for the disabled Joseph “JB” Bensmihen will visit Shorecrest Preparatory School Tuesday, October 10 for a special community presentation. JB will share key takeaways from his new book “Taking Your Place at the Table.” The presentation begins at 10am in the Janet Root Theatre at Shorecrest. A book signing will immediately follow in the theatre lobby.
Born with cerebral palsy, JB characterizes his childhood appearance as “a young Forrest Gump, but with two canes.” Unhappy with being denied a place in a regular elementary school in his home country of Canada, six-year-old JB walked into Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s office, asked for an immediate meeting with him, and got it. He became the first disabled Canadian student to be mainstreamed in a public school.
As an adult, JB has been a highly successful business owner, an advisor to
many members of Congress, the former President of the Private Care Association, the director of the David Bensmihen Charitable Foundation, a member of the Board of Overseers for the men’s undergraduate college at Yeshiva University, and a strong advocate for the disabled.
In 2016, JB walked (with two canes) in the Miami Marathon; served as the master of ceremonies for the marathon’s kickoff event the evening before; and ran as a centrist Republican for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives in St. Petersburg. Currently, JB serves as President and CEO of St. Pete Care at Home and lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. “Taking Your Place at the Table: The Art of Refusing to Be an Outsider,” is his first book.
According to Shorecrest Headmaster Mike Murphy, “At Shorecrest, our tagline is ‘Be More.’ While there are many interpretations of the phrase, JB embodies what we want for our students – determination and commitment to a cause, resilience in the face of adversity, and the drive to make the world a better, more inclusive place. We are honored to have JB join us for this special presentation.” The October presentation aligns with the observance of National Disability Awareness Month.
“I am excited to partner with Shorecrest Preparatory School for the release of ‘Taking Your Place at the Table,’ says Bensmihen. “I’ve found the entire Shorecrest community to be champions for the advancement of all people, able bodied and disabled, and am honored to release this book on the Shorecrest campus.”
Founded in 1923, Shorecrest is a coed, nonsectarian, PK-12 independent school in St. Petersburg, FL. In a safe, student-centered environment, Shorecrest educates a diverse community of students to become lifelong learners in the pursuit of personal and academic excellence, physical well-being, creative achievement and the development of a commitment to social responsibility. Shorecrest graduates empathetic, independent thinkers who succeed at the university level, pursue their passions, and lead purposeful lives. Learn more at Click www.shorecrest.org.
Shorecrest Preparatory School
5101 1st St. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Contact: Rachel Barrett, Director of Marketing & Communications
Office: (727) 522-2111 ext. 223 or (727) 456-7509
Cell: (912) 667-2016