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'Genius Grant' Recipient Rebecca Onie 05:16

This article is more than 10 years old.

What would you do with $500,000, no strings attached? That is what 24 people across the country are pondering Tuesday. They are this year's recipients of the so-called "genius" grants, chosen by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

They work in a variety of fields — from photojournalism to ornithology to paper-making, just to name a few. Four of the 2009 MacArthur fellows are from the Boston area.

We spoke with one winner, Rebecca Onie of Brookline, Mass., about what the award means for her. Onie runs Project Health, a non-profit that helps low-income families get access to public services like housing and food as a way of helping improve their health.

This program aired on September 22, 2009.

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