White House honors Utah nonprofit founder

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Utahn Emily Niehous was honored Wednesday at the White House as one of 11 Champions for Change for her entrepreneurial mentoring and training efforts.

As part of President Barack Obama's Winning the Future initiative, the program highlights excellence in business and recognizes leaders who provide much-needed jobs in their respective communities and counseling to other potential business owners.

The White House recognizes a select group of leaders weekly and invites them to share their innovative and community-centric ideas that help promote positive change in the nation.

Niehous, executive director of Community Rebuilds, founded the nonprofit organization based in Moab. And with the help of student contractors and under the supervision of a licensed general contractor, the organization builds energy-efficient homes for low-income families in the area. Community Rebuilds also provides housing for families while their homes are under construction.

Employing student volunteers not only offsets cost, it also provides training for student contractors in energy-efficient, natural and green building techniques, according to the organization.