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Supervisors: Roshunda Davis and Toyce Newton
Community planning and organization is needed to create economic opportunities within the Desha County region and break the cycle of poverty. This project assists in identifying key formal and informal leadership within the communities served and uses these resources as a backbone for community organization, to identify and engage local, regional, state, and national assets that can strategically plan and execute the plan to bring a sustainable solution of economic opportunity to the southeast region.
Mission: It is the mission of Phoenix Youth and Family Services, Inc.to create opportunities for rural and impoverished residents!
“The Clinton School for Public Service Team’s work has proven to be extremely valuable in Desha County. Their complication of work will allow Phoenix to evaluate our work up until this point and will further allow direct, intentional and focus on our work in the future.” – Toyce Newton, Phoenix Youth and Family Services President and CEO
Lindsey Clark (Class 3) was accepted as an Internal Medicine Primary Care resident at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Clark will begin her residency in Lexington this fall.
Andrea Price (Class 7) was announced as policy director with Greater Richmond Fit4Kids in Richmond, Va.
Jessica DeLoach Sabin (Class 10) was named political director for The NewDEAL, a national network of and local leaders working to expand opportunity for all Americans in the changing economy.
Mary Wolf (Class 11) accepted a position as a readmission prevention care manager at Independent Care Health Plan in Milwaukee, Wisc.
Stephen Bailey (Class 7) accepted a position as producer for VICE News in New York.
Khalid Ahmadzai (Class 11) is relocating from Kabul, Afghanistan, to Fayetteville, Ark., to become Director of Employment and Integration for Canopy NWA, a refugee and immigration resettlement organization.
Each spring, the City of Little Rock kicks off a new year of sustainability by hosting the Sustainability Summit. The Summit provides central Arkansas residents the opportunity to learn, network, and leverage their sustainability efforts with the efforts of others.
Clinton School student Karen Zuccardi (Bogotá, Colombia), whose upcoming International Public Service Project with Avani is focused on sustainability, also serves on Little Rock’s Sustainability Commission. She had the opportunity to speak to the more than 300 attendees of the summit, held Thursday, March 29 at Robinson Auditorium.
“One thing that makes the Clinton School unique and special is it allows us to do an international project in our area of passion,” Zuccardi said at the summit. “My area of passion happens to be sustainability. I’ll be doing my international project with Avani in Indonesia this summer. Avani is a social enterprise with technology-driven solutions for our global plastic problem.”
Zuccardi and other members of the City of Little Rock’s Sustainability Commission distributed biodegradable bags to all attendees as an example of Avani’s work.
Avani’s vision is to become the nation’s leading pioneer in sustainable alternatives, offering eco-friendly packaging products ranging from shopping bags, F&B packaging, and hotel amenities.
Zuccardi’s path to working with Avani began in the early weeks of her time with the Clinton School. She first heard about the social enterprise on social media in the fall of 2017. After browsing its website, she reached out to Avani to try to learn more about how to get involved.
She didn’t hear back initially, but through her work on Little Rock’s Sustainability Commission learned that Avani was looking to bring its products to American cities. She finally spoke with Avani CEO Kevin Kumala in December. Kumala said he would review her information and follow up in early 2018.
Once the pair finally had their interview in January, Terry Mazany, an adjunct professor at the Clinton School currently teaching Social Entrepreneurship, helped Zuccardi prepare.
Kumala told Zuccardi he had done his research on the Clinton School of Public Service, studied her resume, and they wanted her to help Avani do business and market analysis for Latin America and North America.
Her other duties with Avani include marketing communication for the local Bali market; assisting with the possibility of setting up cassava bag production machinery in Little Rock through proper due diligence method; transfer of knowledge behind Avani products; and assisting Avani with its road shows.
Zuccardi leaves for Bali on May 16. She hopes to extend her work with Avani into her Capstone project as well.
“I’m very thankful to everyone in the city who has given me the opportunity to dream, do research, and see what we can bring from Indonesia to Little Rock, Arkansas.”
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student Andrew S. Treviño of Greeley, Colo., has spent the past four months completing his final Capstone project with the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) working on the Arkansas State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis (Opioid STR), a grant totaling nearly $8 million over a two-year period, which Arkansas received from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in an effort to curb the nation’s opioid epidemic.
For Treviño, this work is personal.
“I lost my older brother, Eric, to an opioid overdose in December of 2016,” Treviño said. “After my family experienced that unbearable heartbreak, I decided that my time at the Clinton School would be devoted to finding real, proven, and lasting solutions for people like my brother who are suffering from this debilitating disease. No family should have to feel that pain.”
That is exactly what Treviño has done.
For his capstone project, Treviño worked directly under the Opioid STR Project Director Roshonda Chaney-Bowden, to assist in DBHS’s efforts to expand medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to three populations of focus struggling with opioid use disorders: pregnant and parenting women, individuals re-entering the community from incarceration, and individuals who received Naloxone for an overdose.
As a result of his assistance, the Opioid STR grant has seen tremendous progress.
“Andrew has provided, and continues to provide, support in every area of this grant, from obtaining STR statistical trend data statewide and nationally to spearheading workgroup meetings with the State’s premier eight-funded substance abuse treatment providers,” Mrs. Chaney-Bowden said. “He truly is a remarkable human being whose dedication and hard work has made a lasting impact in Arkansas’s approach to the STR grant. I am proud to say that this young man possesses the leadership, optimism, motivation, persistence, strong work ethic, teamwork, reliability, and consistency needed to affect positive social change in our world today.”
After graduating in May from the Clinton School, Treviño, who is a concurrent Juris Doctor candidate at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, plans on working with DBHS on a continuation of the Opioid STR grant while finishing his law degree.
About the Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services
Within the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), the Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) is responsible for ensuring the provision of public behavioral health services, including mental health and substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery services throughout the State of Arkansas. DBHS supports, certifies, licenses, and funds behavioral health providers throughout the state. In addition, DBHS operates two behavioral health institutions – the Arkansas State Hospital located in Little Rock and the Arkansas Health Center in Benton.
For this week’s Spring Break, five Clinton School students have traveled to Houston to participate in rebuilding efforts with SBP for Hurricane Harvey. Throughout the week, the students will be posting reflections on their work. Today’s post is from Emily Loker, a second-year student from Madison, Wisc.
When I imagined our time here in Houston, I thought we might be dog-tired or I might make a mistake and be relegated to the doghouse but I certainly didn’t think home restoration would be such a slobbery, muddy, tail-wagging experience. And I’m not talking about building materials here.
During orientation the first day, our site supervisor, Paulina, casually mentioned that the homeowner had a dog, named Paloma. “Volunteers always fall in love with Paloma, he’s a huge fluffy dog!” Paulina said knowingly. We went out back and were greeted not only by Paloma, who is as beautiful as his name—which means “dove” in Spanish—implies, but a German Shepherd puppy.
Our group, which included three AmeriCorps members and the five of us, let out a collective squeal as we took turns playing with the puppy, who was making noises somewhere between a sheep and a pig. “I’ll call him Baby,” Paulina soon declared.
Baby and Paloma, as well as half a dozen stray or loose dogs have kept us company as we work and, ironically, have humanized our experience. Since many of the homes in the neighborhood are also being rehabilitated or are still empty, the dogs represent the life of those forced out by the flood.
Until today, Rambo had been one of those dogs for me; he winded between mailboxes and car chassis with as much purpose as an eight year-old free from their parent’s vigilant gaze. A sweet little terrier, Rambo seemed to be mixed up in a rather fraught situation with two other dogs. “Yes, that used to be his girl,” Jack, another AmeriCorps volunteer at our site told me on Monday. We have watched as he, in the earnest innocence only a dog of his size can, tried to growl away a boxer at least twice his size from a female pit bull mix. From the boxer’s nonplussed reaction, it appeared that the odds were not in his favor.
This morning, as Brian as I continued to embrace the steep learning curve of tiling a bathtub for the first time, we had an unexpected visitor: the neighbor across the street, Ronnie. Not only did Ronnie graciously show us the progress he had made on his house (and a far more efficient mortaring technique to boot), he revealed that he was Rambo’s owner. I beamed at the small bit of newfound understanding. Although not as pint-sized and adoring, meeting Ronnie textured my service experience as much as his tiny companion.
On Saturday, we hope to meet the man who owns the house we have been working on. I look forward to hearing more about his experience during and after Harvey and his sentiments about the renovations almost as much as I anticipate the big hug Paloma will give him as he approaches his space in the backyard.
For this week’s Spring Break, five Clinton School students have traveled to Houston to participate in rebuilding efforts with SBP for Hurricane Harvey. Throughout the week, the students will be posting reflections on their work. Today’s post is from Brian Wegner, a first-year student from Saginaw, Mich.
A sentiment, hashtag, battle cry of a city that was not willing to face destruction quietly and without a fight. People saw the slogan on social media and TV commercials, but what does it look like, feel like, to the non-Houstonian, the non-Texan? Truthfully, I didn’t have a clue as I sat in Little Rock hundreds of miles away, my reality consisted of my studies. I had done disaster work before, but in a city of 62,000. What does “Strong” look like in a city of 2.3 million—America’s 4th largest city?
Here is what I’ve witnessed “Houston Strong” to be since we’ve arrived. A group of 30 volunteers from across the country gathered in a parking lot patiently awaiting orientation at 6:30 in the morning. The many AmeriCorps members, both Houstonians and not, who committed to 10 months of service, some who moved to Houston and now fight for it. Our homeowner who used their truck to transport 50+ people safely to shelters during the storm. The group of volunteers from Nebraska at the house next door, who mucked and gutted in full protective body suits in 80-degree heat and sun. The multitude of contractors that have passed by our house to work at the dozens of other homes in the neighborhoods, yards still riddled with piles of their resident’s lives in soggy ruined heaps. The non-verbal understanding communicated between a head nod and a smile between myself and a person pouring new concrete at a house down the street.
I don’t know what exactly “Strong” looked like in the days, weeks, and first couple months following Harvey. But I imagine it was the 400-pound deadlift, a show of quick, powerful force. The past two days, six and a half months after Harvey, I have seen “Strong” to be a marathon: people are still working, people are still committed to the recovery, people are still traveling great distances to come out and help, sharing smiles with those who are doing the same. This is still the beginning of the race, but Houston is moving forward with strength anyways.
For this week’s Spring Break, five Clinton School students have traveled to Houston to participate in rebuilding efforts with SBP for Hurricane Harvey. Throughout the week, the students will be posting reflections on their work. Today’s post is from Kirby Richardson, a first-year student from Rogers, Ark.
The greatest act of love that one can perform is to make oneself available to meet the needs of another and thereby elevate the needs of others to equal status with one’s own. That is why I came to Houston. The city carries a great deal of significance for me, as Southeast Texas was my second home while I was growing up, and a great deal of my family still lives here (albeit, 45 minutes from Houston in the Beaumont area). Twenty miles from where I currently am, on the side of Eastbound I-10, there is a small pond on which my grandfather used to fish.
After Hurricane Harvey, pictures surfaced of the entire area, including the pond, underwater. It was devastating to see a place that embodied happy memories transformed into an example of destruction. My family in the area, all things considered, escaped relatively unscathed. Other families, however, we’re not so lucky – as is the case with the family whose home we will be helping to renovate.
The primary thought that I had today, our first day of work, was how I fit here, in this space. Who am I in relation to the father and daughter who live in the house we are renovating? Am I positioned to fulfill this family’s needs?
The short answer to the first question is that I am someone who has an interest in service. I am not a servant, as it implies that service is simply a means to justify a specific identity. I am a person who wants to serve, to dedicate myself continuously and emphatically to the ethical and sustainable fulfillment of needs. With regards to the second question, I am not sure if I can fulfill their needs, but I can certainly try my best to understand them and contribute to their fulfillment to the best of my ability. Acknowledging their needs and elevating them to equal or greater status as my own needs is my goal, and in that sense. I love the family that we are trying to serve and I want the very best for them.
University of Arkansas Clinton School Director of Admissions Alex Thomas (email@example.com) will be in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, March 22 for Roll Call Live’s Spring Graduate Fair. The Clinton School is the nation’s first to offer a Master of Public Service Degree, with concurrent Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Health and Juris Doctor degrees available.
The Clinton School recently launched the first-of-its-kind Executive Master of Public Service (EMPS), an entirely online degree designed for working professionals from across the country.
Roll Call Live’s Spring Graduate Fair
March 22, 2018
The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
House Room 201
First Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20515
Katie Barnes, Emily Loker, Kirby Richardson, Amy Stewart, and Brian Wegner will work with SBP in Houston. Originally called St. Bernard Project, SBP began as a volunteer effort in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. In more than a decade since, SBP’s efforts have grown. It now responds to other major natural disasters across the United States, with the mission to shrink the time between disaster and recovery.
Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in August 2017. Sixty-nine people died as a direct result and thirty-nine indirect deaths have been attributed to the storm. A month after the storm, 60,000 individuals were still displaced because of Harvey. Hurricane Harvey became the costliest hurricane in recorded history, costing approximately $125 billion. Houston received the brunt of this destruction, while other cities up and down the Texas coast were also deeply impacted. SBP immediately responded to the disaster and has already assisted 82 homes in mucking and mold remediation. SBP has now begun rebuilding homes.
The Hope Fund is generously supporting the students by providing travel, lodging, and food costs. The students will spend the week in northeast Houston rebuilding the homes of impacted community members. Typically rebuilding efforts include the reinstallation of insulation, drywall, doors, trim, and refinishing homes. SBP’s trained site supervisors will teach valuable skills in construction to the team throughout the week. The students will also spend time learning more about Houston, Hurricane Harvey, and the social issues surrounding natural disasters.
Upon return, the students hope the share their experience with classmates, faculty, and the community to highlight their work and help inform others of the needs of individuals impacted by natural disasters.