Dr. Amy Blansit serves as program director for RISE, a poverty alleviation initiative in Springfield, Mo. In addition, she is chairman of the Drew Lewis Foundation and operates The Fairbanks, a renovated grade school that now serves as a center for community betterment programs in Springfield’s Grant Beach neighborhood. Initially based at The Fairbanks, RISE uses a community-driven development model that couples family support with neighborhood development and sustainability to help families overcome the challenges that have kept them living in poverty. This model has been recognized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development as an EnVision Center. The success of RISE is the result of a five-year grant from The Community Foundation of the Ozarks and partnership of Missouri State University, Drury University and the Drew Lewis Foundation.
Dr. Blansit founded the Drew Lewis Foundation in memory of her husband, who shared a vision of community betterment through real estate improvements. Focused on asset-based urban development, the Foundation’s mission is to educate, empower, and support underserved families through personalized programs and coaching to increase quality of life and build resilient communities. Dr. Blansit was a Senior Instructor in the Kinesiology Department at Missouri State University for fourteen years. She completed her doctorate in Health Science from A. T. Still University. She received a master’s degree from Adelphi University and a bachelor’s degree from Drury University.
Dr. Blansit was honored as the Person of the Year by Springfield’s magazine Biz 417 in 2017 and remained on their Biz 100 list several years following. She was also awarded the Missouri State Foundation Award for Service and has been recognized by Springfield Business Journal as 40 Under 40, 12 People You Need to Know, and 40 Most Influential Women.