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This article was originally published by Arkansas Money & Politics and written by Erica Sweeney
For an entrepreneur to be successful, he or she needs a champion. In the Mississippi Delta region, those champions are needed more than ever.
Enter the Delta Entrepreneurship Network, a program under the federal Delta Regional Authority’s Small Business & Entrepreneurship Initiative.
DEN, headquartered in Clarksdale, Mississippi, with a Washington, D.C. office, launched in 2015 to provide a variety of resources and support to entrepreneurs located in Arkansas and seven surrounding Delta states, as well as to organizations that provide free or low-cost help to entrepreneurs.
“One of the best ways to revitalize rural America is through entrepreneurship,” said Chris Masingill, DRA federal co-chair.
The Entrepreneurship Network also provides a competitive fellowship competition for entrepreneurs, said Katie Milligan, the agency’s director of small business and entrepreneurship.
“As we get together, we’re starting to see where the service gaps are in Arkansas and around the region,” she said. “I can’t brag enough on our support organizations that have stepped up to the plate. It’s that sense of wanting to help and continue to push Arkansas to be a very competitive state in this space.”
Masingill said DEN is about creating jobs, building communities and improving lives in the Delta, and helping female and minority entrepreneurs overcome barriers.
“We know we’re making a difference in people’s lives and communities,” he said. “We have the ability. This is about lifting up people and communities. It’s also about changing the dynamic. I will always be an advocate for rural America.”
Masingill and Milligan, both Arkansas natives and based in Little Rock, say they travel throughout the Delta about 75 percent of the time and enjoy meeting entrepreneurs passionate about their work.
AMP spoke to Masingill and Milligan about the Delta Entrepreneurship Network and how it is serving Arkansas and other parts of the Delta.
AMP: What is the Delta Entrepreneurship Network?
Masingill: It is our key program that touches small businesses and it’s under the Small Business and Entrepreneurship [Initiative]. For the Delta Entrepreneurship Network, it was our way of lifting up and highlighting the focus for the region for helping to build, to grow, to harness this entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region. In rural America, in the Delta region particularly, we need to double down on helping existing small businesses grow. We also need to do more about building this support system, this ecosystem. When I say “ecosystem,” I’m talking about everything that it takes to take someone from A to Z in the course of this process.
Under [SB&E], we wanted to increase the number of skilled and educated entrepreneurs. Secondly, we wanted to leverage technology and innovation. How do we connect small businesses and entrepreneurs to that? We recognize that you have to get access to capital. We know that there are issues with accessing capital in rural America. We wanted to make sure we increase the awareness of market opportunities. How do we bring in more of the information for entrepreneurs to really understand the markets that they’re trying to tap into? Lastly, we know that there are regulatory barriers for [certain] small businesses.
Milligan: In a practical sense, we have the overall SB&E initiative. Within that, our entire branch of it is the Delta Entrepreneurship Network. Within that, we do have multiple things going on. One of which is a competitive fellowship program for entrepreneurs and ESOs [entrepreneurship support organizations]. Those support organizations are any nonprofit or individual that’s providing free or low-cost services for entrepreneurs. The fellowship runs from fall to spring and [we gave] these entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their companies as well as talk about the ecosystem at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week [March 11-18]. We have a three-year partnership with the Idea Village, which is an accelerator/incubator based in New Orleans.
It’s a way to build the ecosystem, but it’s also a celebration that innovation and entrepreneurship is happening here in the Delta. We want to talk about it and want to make sure other people know about it.
New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is quickly becoming the premier place for entrepreneurs to talk about their ideas. Last year, they had more than 14,000 people at the event. What the DEN is really doing is providing an access point that these entrepreneurs wouldn’t get otherwise. Traditionally, New Orleans Entrepreneur Week has been closed to entrepreneurs outside Orleans Parish. So you have this incredible nationally recognized event, and there wasn’t a way to access it. That’s what the DEN aims to do. We have 22 entrepreneurs in this second cohort and 13 support organizations from around our eight states. We’ve served just over 50 entrepreneurs in the two years that we’ve been doing this.
AMP: Why is it so important for this program to exist in the Delta?
Masingill: The reason we’re doing this is to provide opportunities that people in our part of the world wouldn’t normally have access to. Let’s remember, the excitement that’s happening around entrepreneurship in Little Rock and central Arkansas is still very young. We’re still in the infancy stage of this. It is still extremely new. People say you can’t do that in rural America but you absolutely can. As an economic developer, we need to be integrating, building up entrepreneurship as a part of our economic development strategy. We need to be as aggressive with someone wanting to start a business as we are with recruiting a business.
It’s not about taking the same size pie and splitting it up into more slices. It’s about making the pie bigger. I believe, fundamentally, that innovation and entrepreneurship can be a key economic development strategy for our rural community, just like it can for Little Rock and central Arkansas.
Milligan: The Delta is inherently innovative. Entrepreneurs and small businesses have been overcoming struggles since people moved to the Mississippi River Valley. It’s a natural fit that entrepreneurs are coming out of the Delta because they’re looking at [how to solve a problem in the community]. They really want to solve problems that they’re facing, or overcome a challenge or provide a service or product that is going to do something. That’s important. What I’ve heard over and over with these entrepreneurs is “I would never have had this opportunity.” A lot of it is just about building confidence. One of the things that we can’t measure is the confidence that we instill in our entrepreneurs who then go on and do all of these other things because we have said, “You have a good idea and we’re going to help you get there,” wherever “there” is.
Masingill: This is a long game. We’re investing for the future. We’re investing for 10, 20, 30 years from now. We want to institutionalize the idea that entrepreneurship and innovation can be just as strong as traditional business retention and expansion projects right alongside the traditional economic development. This is how you keep your innovation; this is how you keep your young people. This is how you attract more because it is a place-based strategy.
AMP: What are some specific programs of the network that help entrepreneurs?
Masingill: Our No. 1 focus is to support, through investing in the infrastructure — the ecosystem. What that means is building the environment where this idea about entrepreneurship and innovation can grow and be supported and be anchored, such as investing in physical infrastructure, like we did with the Innovation Hub. They are providing services, programming, creating that onramp for the type of services that it takes to be successful. Everything from the initial vetting of your idea to technical assistance and mentorships and how do you get in front of investors. You’ve got to support those programs.
The Venture Center is another great partner. Supporting not only the physical infrastructure but also the programming that draws more entrepreneurs into the pipeline. That’s No. 1. No. 2 is actually creating opportunities for the ESOs because for us the ESOs are critical. We’ve got to support those; we’ve got to support the accelerators, the incubators, the shared workspaces. Then, it’s how can we link opportunities for entrepreneurs?
For us, it’s not investing in the actual business idea. We can’t necessarily do that. We create the environment for that. The fellowship is one specific example of how we do that. We’re looking to identify the entrepreneurs; we’re looking to connect the entrepreneurs; we’re looking to nurture the entrepreneurs and support organizations. We’re looking to grow the entrepreneurs.
Milligan: We’ve looked at branding and marketing, business development, investment — things like term sheet negotiations, investments, how much equity is too much to give up — getting pitches ready. Can you pitch in 60 sections? Can you pitch in three minutes? Can you pitch in seven minutes in a very formal setting?
What we saw is really good feedback. Even though we think these entrepreneurs are in a certain place, they’re all so willing to learn. That’s been one of the great things about both cohorts. None have typical founder syndrome where they’re too good to participate.
AMP: What are the criteria to take part in the fellowship?
Milligan: We identify the entrepreneurs through a three-minute pitch competition. Applications open up in the fall. We’ll host the pitch competitions in the fall throughout [the region]. Entrepreneurs have to have under $1 million in revenue, have five or less employees, and be living or working within the 252 counties and parishes in the DRA footprint. It’s not industry specific. For ESOs, it’s any individual or nonprofit that is providing free or low-cost services to entrepreneurs in the footprint.
AMP: How does Arkansas’ entrepreneurship ecosystem compare to the other states in the region?
Masingill: What’s happening in central Arkansas is extremely exciting. We’ve been building the foundation for that for the last decade and a half. This is not overnight. It takes a lot of resources up front. What we’re talking about is the ability for people to take risks without the fear of not being able to get back up and start again.
Arkansas is a great place to start a business. It’s a great place for business to thrive. The key to that is you have to continue to stoke the fire. We need more angel investors. We need more early-stage funding opportunities. Often, that requires public policymakers, elected officials and community leaders to step forward to see that because the private sector doesn’t always do the best upfront.
AMP: What is still needed in this region to continue the growth and development of entrepreneurship?
Masingill: Access to capital, especially early-stage capital.
Milligan: Education for both entrepreneurs and investors. Pitching to investors is really scary for a lot of entrepreneurs. How do we debunk the myths, and how do we make sure our entrepreneurs are educated and well-prepared? Developing that pipeline of very skilled entrepreneurs so when it’s time to pitch for that early stage capital, they’re really ready.
Masingill: There has to be a very intentional, elevated strategy to focus in on our women and minorities entrepreneurs. The fact of it is, there are additional barriers that they have to overcome. Part of that is financial literacy, understanding business in general, having access to those types of resources and recognizing that we have to do more to prepare them. This is also about revitalization. The [Delta region] is one of the most underserved impoverished regions in the country.
One of the best ways to revitalize rural America is through entrepreneurship. In order to do that, you’ve got to make sure people have hope, by creating opportunities.
The 36 credit-hour degree, which now goes before the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Coordinating Board for final approval at the July 29th meeting, is designed for mid-career professionals who have significant public service work experience. The program will be offered in collaboration with eVersity, the University of Arkansas System’s 100% online, independent university that offers career-ready degrees taught by UA System faculty.
Set to launch in the summer of 2017, the degree will be offered over a period of 24 consecutive months, with 12 eight-week semesters, at a total cost to students of $33,600.
“Based on the success of our Master of Public Service degree program, we are optimistic that this new executive online degree will attract professionals from all over the country and the world who are pursuing careers and can’t relocate to Little Rock,” said Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School.
Anyone interested in pursuing an Executive Master of Public Service degree can contact the admissions office by emailing admissions@clintonschool.
Forty-one students will graduate with a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service (UACS) during the 2016 commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 15th at 1:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock.
President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, will deliver the school’s 10th commencement address. Established in 2004, the Clinton School of Public Service was the first graduate school in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service degree.
The 41 graduates are the 10th class to graduate from the Master of Public Service degree program. During the past two years in the program, the graduates completed a 40-hour curriculum, including three field service projects: a team-based project in Arkansas, an international public service project, and a final individual project.
The graduates also benefitted from participating in the Clinton School Speaker Series, which hosted more than 200 speakers during their two years in the program, including Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Patterson Hood, co-founder of the band Drive-By Truckers; and Dambisa Moyo, economist and author.
Attendees of the graduation ceremony are asked to consider bringing donations for the Arkansas Foodbank. To contribute to this effort, guests are asked to bring protein items, such as tuna fish, peanut butter, or bags of beans, to the May 15th ceremony. Giving at graduation has been a tradition at the Clinton School since 2010. Previous organizational recipients include Volunteers in Public Schools; Our House; Arkansas Children’s Hospital Mobile Dental Clinic; The Van; Jericho Way Resource Center; and Little Rock Children’s Library.
On Twitter, we will be using the hashtags #UACS2016 and #BuildingBridges from the @ClintonSchool Twitter account.
Press credentials are required to attend the ceremony and available upon request.
The Class of 2016:
Joyce Ajayi (Lagos, Nigeria)
Joyce Akidi (Pader, Uganda)
Nouroudine Alassane (Bassila, Benin)
Berkeley Anderson (Waco, Texas)
Kathryn Baxter (Glenside, Penn.)
Abigail Bi (Kunming, Yunnan Province, China)
Romerse Biddle (Magnolia, Ark.)
Katherine Brown (Canton, Mich.)
Jordan Butler (Jackson, Miss.)
Melvin Clayton (Pine Bluff, Ark.)
Amanda Cullen (Panama City, Fla.)
Andrew Forsman (Mobile, Ala.)
Sarah Fuchs (Hayward, Calif.)
Georgia Genoway (Maryland County, Liberia)
Jennifer Guzman (Hialeah, Fla.)
Anne Haley (Little Rock, Ark.)
Austin Hall (Hot Springs, Ark.)
Austin Harrison (Louisville, Miss.)
Caroline Head (Little Rock, Ark.)
Amber Jackson (Camden, Ark.)
LaKaija Johnson (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Akaylah Jones (Little Rock, Ark.)
Henry Karlin (Brooklyn, NY)
Helen Grace King (Pine Bluff, Ark.)
Alex Lanis (Ada, Okla.)
Coby MacMaster (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
Amanda Mathies (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Emma McAuley (Glenview, Ill.)
Molly Miller (Sand Springs, Okla.)
Ashley-Brooke Moses (Sharpsburg, Ga.)
Florence Mueni (Nairobi, Kenya)
Dariane Mull (Little Rock, Ark.)
Michelle Perez Ferrer (Maracaibo, Venezuela)
Shanell Ransom (Columbia, SC)
Maddy Salzman (Wellesley, Mass.)
Eddie Savala (Nairobi, Kenya)
Kat Short (Hot Springs, Ark.)
Dustin Smith (Jonesboro, Ark.)
Becky Twamley (Brainerd, Minn.)
Nathan Watson (Fayetteville, Ark.)
Nicholas Williams (Judsonia, Ark.)
“The International Public Service Project is a major component of the Clinton School curriculum,” said Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School. “Our students take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in the field, immersing themselves in communities all around the world.”
Four students will be completing projects in three first-time countries for the Clinton School – United Arab Emirates, Mozambique, and Austria. This brings the total number to 78 nations where students have completed international projects since the school opened in 2005.
The International Public Service Project is one of three public service projects that make up a significant portion of the MPS degree. Students also complete a team-based project in Arkansas their first year and a final individual project that culminates their degree.
Projects and host organizations are selected collaboratively by Clinton School students and faculty.
2016 International Public Service Projects:
Khalid Ahmadzai – Heifer International (New Delhi, India) – Ahmadzai will conduct a final project evaluation for two of Heifer International projects in the Bihar and Rajasthan states of India. He will conduct on-site surveys using social network analysis to measure Heifer International’s impact on the development of social capital in the respective projects.
Kristen Alexander – Sarus (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) – Alexander will assist Sarus in transitioning the management staff in Cambodia from foreigners to locals. She will conduct primary and secondary research to create a guide of best practices and recommendations for this process.
Nora Bouzihay – U.S. Department of State (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – Bouzihay will be working closely with the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs on projects concerning women’s empowerment in Dubai. She will work closely with diplomats of UAE on various topics by doing extensive research in the field.
Stacy Cox – Heifer International (New Delhi, India) – Cox will conduct an evaluation of two of Heifer International’s projects in India. Her work will consist of performing a social network analysis to determine if Heifer’s interventions have contributed to the development of social capital.
Abigail Craig – Community and Family Services International (Manila, Philippines) – Craig will research and formulate a child protection policy.
Xochitl Delgado Solorzano – Junior Achievement in Africa (Accra, Ghana) – Delgado Solorzano will evaluate the initial implementation of the Cha-Ching program. She will make recommendations on ways to improve the implementation of the program and strategies for expanding the program into additional schools.
Sarah Fowlkes – Winrock International (Kathmandu, Nepal and Dhaka, Bangladesh) – Fowlkes will conduct a mid-term impact assessment of Winrock International’s implementation of USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer program. She will use focus groups and surveys to determine recommendations for improving the project and success stories and help develop an evaluation tool and guidance for partner organizations.
Zachary Glembin – Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership (Bangkok, Thailand) – Glembin will conduct research to develop funding models and revenue streams that will give program applicants from the Least Developed Countries equal access and opportunity to participate in DSIL’s global leadership certificate program, further enabling those participants to become change agents in their communities.
Thurman Green – Marin Barleti University (Tirana, Albania) – Green will provide recommendations on further developing tourism in Tirana’s The Block district. He will facilitate discussions with locals, business owners, public officials and planners to determine effective methods to preserve historic significance of The Block as a tool for economic development and tourism.
Zachary Hale – U.S. Department of State (Vienna, Austria) – Hale will be working with the Public Affairs office of the U.S. Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna, which coordinates between the State Department, the United Nations, and other international bodies.
Mary Henthorn – New Horizons (Nampula, Mozambique) – Henthorn will work in conjunction with University of Arkansas Fayetteville faculty and honors students to address issues with computer systems used by Novos Horizontes (New Horizons), a commercial poultry operation outside of Nampula, Mozambique.
Claire Hodgson – Designing Social Innovation and Leadership (Bangkok, Thailand) – Hodgson will conduct market research for the startup alternative education executive program. She will produce a market research and analysis report, which will be used to guide the organization’s strategic marketing.
Salil Joshi – Bedrocan BV (Gronigen, The Netherlands) – Joshi will evaluate production and medical prescribing practices of medicinal cannabis to inform health policy and medical practices. Additionally, Joshi will profile medicinal cannabis patients and the physicians prescribing medicinal cannabis as well as provide a comprehensive understanding of the medicinal cannabis atmosphere in certain European regions.
Emily Kearns – Amherstburg Freedom Museum (Ontario, Canada) – Kearns will collect data on museum volunteers in order to make recommendations for improving volunteer recruitment and retention at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum.
Arjola Limani – Heifer International (Pichinaki and Cajamarca, Peru) – Limani will contribute to a final evaluation project focused on identifying the role of gender in two coffee projects, one in Pichinaki, Peru and one in Cajamarca, Peru. She will develop data collection processes and create measures to assess program experience.
Piper Meeks – Fundación Arte del Mundo (Baños, Ecuador) – Meeks will establish an evidence-based curriculum of yoga classes intended to increase the self-confidence of youth at Fundación Arte del Mundo. She will implement the curriculum and evaluate its effectiveness in order to ensure that the curriculum is achieving its goals.
Alexandre Meldem – Fundación Arte del Mundo (Baños, Ecuador) – Meldem will develop tools to enhance and strengthen the volunteer tourism program currently operated by Fundacion Arte del Mundo. He will also design an evaluation tool to assess the impact of his project.
Shem Ngwira – Heifer International (Noida City, India) – Ngwira will conduct a mid-term evaluation of the Community Agro-Veterinary Entrepreneurs (CAVE) training model. Ngwira will make recommendations for future implementation of the CAVE training by collecting and analyzing feedback from project beneficiaries, trainers, and recipients of the services provided by project beneficiaries.
Hunter Owen – New Horizons (Nampula, Mozambique) – Owen will create an evaluation tool to measure the service-learning opportunities available to undergraduate students through a partnership between the University of Arkansas and New Horizons Mozambique. In addition to this, he will assess the needs of the host organization as they relate to the students’ experiences.
Beau Papan – Computer Shiksha (Gurgaon, India) – Papan will work to develop a digital marketing strategy for Computer Shiksha. He will also use a variety of methods to help build corporate partnerships and spark increased organizational visibility.
Rob Pillow – Heifer International (Lilongwe, Malawi) – Pillow will develop a tool to measure the indirect economic effects of Heifer International’s project in Malawi. This tool will be used to collect data on indirect beneficiaries in country and the data will be analyzed to determine the economic multiplier of Heifer’s intervention.
Keith Preciados – Heifer International (Makati City, Philippines) – Preciados will conduct a midterm evaluation of the Community Agro-Vet Entrepreneur (CAVE) program, which trains community beneficiaries in agricultural and veterinary services as a means of livelihood. He will conduct primary research with stakeholders, analyze data, and report findings and recommendations to Heifer International.
Yvonne Quek – Awamaki (Ollantaytambo, Peru) – Quek will evaluate the social impact of Awamaki on the surrounding community. She will use the Social Return of Investment approach to measure the social value generated by Awamaki.
Heather Rossi – Building Tomorrow (Kampala, Uganda) – Rossi will develop a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) implementation plan. The program plan will serve as a model for implementing WASH programming in all Building Tomorrow schools and the communities that surround.
Merrill Schmidt – Habitat for Humanity Argentina (Santa Fe province, Argentina) – Schmidt will evaluate the impact of Habitat for Humanity Argentina’s Neighborhood Development program in the Santa Fe province. She will gather input about the program and information about its outcomes from participants using in-person surveys.
Marsha Scullark – Center for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (Liverpool, Australia) – Scullark will create an evaluation plan to analyze the impact and results of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement for Australia. She will collect data by conducting interviews and reviewing previous research to assess HIA’s ability to improve TPP provisions.
Jeremiah Sniffin – Marin Barleti University (Tirana, Albania) – Sniffin will be working with the University Marin Barleti’s Urban Planning Initiative to create a contact database of other Urban Planning teams from all over the world. The goal is to foster mutual information sharing relationships between these organizations and the University’s Planning Initiative.
Demas Soliman – Heifer International (Tacloban City, Philippines) – Soliman will evaluate Heifer’s Community Agro-Vet Entrepreneurship (CAVE) program, which was implemented in the Philippines by Heifer International in 2013.
Will Van Laningham – Fundación Arte del Mundo (Baños, Ecuador) – Van Laningham will develop the curriculum for a workshop that will work with the English teachers of the Baños region to strengthen their command of the language and help develop techniques for English instruction that will be most effective in that particular region. He will also implement the workshop in Baños over the summer and provide curriculum for Fundación Arte del Mundo to use in the future.
Mary Wolf – Community and Family Services International (Manila, Philippines) – Wolf will interview refugees with chronic illnesses to develop a situation report that will help CFSI better assist that population.
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas partnered with four students from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service to strengthen relationships with the Latino community in Central Arkansas. The aim of the study is to determine effective strategies to connect with the Latino community in the area.
The lead researches for the study for this study were Nora Bouzihay of Jonesboro, Ark., Xochitl E. Delgado Solorzano of Springdale, Ark., Arijola Limani of Tirana, Albania, and Jeremiah Sniffin of Laramie, WY. Over the past five months, the student team interviewed leaders in the community and conducted focus groups with community members on strategies to do outreach to the Latino population. Their work involved providing recommendations to Goodwill Industries of Arkansas on creating a sustainable outreach strategy.
“Goodwill Industries of Arkansas would like to better serve the Latino community in Arkansas,” saidBrian Itzkowitz, Goodwill President and CEO. “The Clinton School of Public Service project has identified opportunities for us to increase awareness of our mission and connect these Arkansans with the services we provide. Working with the students on their project has been a wonderful experience for us. This project creates a foundation for Goodwill to broaden our community partnerships within the Latino community.”
This project is one of 10 to be completed by 37 Clinton School students across the state of Arkansas. These students are in their first semester of classes in the school’s Master of Public Service degree program.
About Goodwill Industries of Arkansas
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is a 501(c) 3 organization dedicated to the mission of providing education, training and employment services for people with disabilities and other special needs. Revenue generated through the sale of reusable donated goods at Goodwill retail stores is used to fund these critical programs for Arkansas. More information about Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is available at www.goodwillar.org
A team of University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service students recently worked with the Centers for Youth and Families in Little Rock to create a garden therapy and evaluation plan.
Clinton School students Claire Hodgson of Russellville, Ark., Kristen Alexander of Little Rock, Ark., and Daniel Caruth of Morrilton, Ark., partnered with the Centers for Youth and Families to research therapy tools and evaluate measures for the organization’s new garden therapy program. The garden program will break ground in 2017 and compliment the Centers’ existing prevention, intervention and treatment programs, which serve more than 600 families throughout Arkansas.
The team of students researched the effects of garden therapy on wellbeing, mental, and behavioral health, and suggested ways to measure those for the Centers’ clients. The students also conducted interviews and focus groups with the Centers’ staff and clients, and eight national and international organizations.
“While many people are familiar with school gardens for educational purposes, our garden is unique in that it also provides an emotionally healing experience for our clients,” said JoBeth McElhanon, director of Prevention Services at the Centers for Youth and Families. “The benefits of the integrated therapy garden are far reaching and we are excited to plant these seeds of innovation and watch them grow.”
This is one of 10 projects completed by Clinton School students throughout the state of Arkansas as part of the field service component for their Master of Public Service degree program.
About the Centers for Youth and Families
The Centers for Youth and Families is a non-profit organization based in Little Rock, Ark. It has provided a continuum of care for children, ages 3 to 20, and families across the state of Arkansas for 130 years. They offer day-treatment, outpatient counseling, classroom-based therapy, an emergency shelter, independent living programs, therapeutic foster care and residential services for at-risk youth as well as resources for parents. The Centers is dedicated to building healthy children, families and communities. More information is available at: http://www.centersforyouthandfamilies.org/
The PEARLS (Promoting Education Achievement Resourcefulness Leadership & Scholarship) Foundation, in conjunction with Chi Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, honored women of color who have demonstrated a commitment to outstanding service and made significant contributions in the areas of educational enrichment, health promotion, family straightening, environmental ownership and global impact at a ceremony last weekend.
Dr. Charlotte Williams, professor at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and the director of the Center on Community Philanthropy at the Clinton School, was selected as the Global Impact Award recipient.
Other honoree include:
Educational Enrichment: Angela Webster, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Associate Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Central Arkansas
Health Promotion: Kim Leverett, Owner and Certified Trainer, A Kick Above Personal Training Studio Family Strengthening: Rhonda Mattox, M.D., Arkansas Minority Health Commission Medical Director
Environmental Ownership: Tori B. Gordon, Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson
Ivy Excellence: Colette D. Honorable, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Last weekend, the Clinton School held the 2016 Clinton School Annual Cookoff. There were four categories of winners for the Cookoff: creativity, taste, presentation, and an overall winner. The results are as follows: