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Second place in the Clinton School Practicum project photo contest was the Out of School Network Team, which is documenting and highlighting the impact and contributions of youth voice and leadership in afterschool and summer programs in five targeted communities in Arkansas.
Click the photo to enlarge. Below is a caption written by team member Lauren Remedios.
A team of four Clinton School students spent this semester interviewing students statewide to express the youth voice on the public importance of out-of-school time programming. In this picture, team member, Ande Breaux, interviews 16 year old Robert Harris from Our Club in Jacksonville, Ark. During the interview,
Robert expressed how this Club gave him positive educational and social opportunities. Robert grew up in the Club and now, serves as a mentor for the other kids that come through the program. Robert’s interview is just one story that confirms the benefits and need for out-of-school time programs in Arkansas.
A team of Clinton School students will compete this weekend in the finals of Policy Solutions Challenge USA, a national competition among U.S. schools of public policy, public affairs and public administration.
The competition requires student teams to develop innovative solutions to the most important policy problems facing the country. The topic of this year’s challenge is “Responses to Childhood Obesity in the U.S.” Student teams are required to create policy solutions and present them to a panel of judges.
Clinton School students Mara D’Amico, Angela Bukenya, Christine Sumner and Jillian Underwood won the South Region competition in February and will compete in the finals Friday and Saturday at the American University School of Public Policy in Washington, D.C. They will compete against seven other teams from across the country.
Other schools participating in the finals include: American University, Brown University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Ohio State University, University of Southern California, University of Washington and University of Wisconsin.
“We are very proud of these students for their accomplishment in reaching the finals of the Policy Solutions Challenge,” said Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford. “Clearly, they have already distinguished themselves by advancing to the finals alongside these other outstanding schools. Public policy analysis and advocacy are important components of public service, and our students have displayed that well throughout this competition.” (more…)
Clinton School student John Vollertsen (’13) partnered with Democracy Corps, a non-profit political research and strategy organization, to create a blueprint for increasing political participation among historically underrepresented groups.
Vollertsen analyzed survey and focus group data obtained on three demographics — unmarried women, young people under the age of 30 and minorities — to learn about their economic circumstances and better understand their policy preferences and vision for America’s future.
According to the Voter Participation Center, these groups collectively represent the fastest growing demographic, accounting for 95 percent of all growth between 2008 and 2010, and now make up a slim majority at 53 percent of the electorate. They are also the most likely groups to be unregistered to vote as 71 million of these voters did not vote in the 2010 election.
“It is impossible for a democracy to function properly when it lacks the voice of any of its members,” said Erica Seifert, senior associate at Democracy Corps and supervisor of the project. “In America, the fastest growing segments of society have not been fully engaged in choosing their leaders. That has real policy implications and we hope this project will be one of many steps in addressing that.”
The recommendations that Vollertsen has created will provide a starting point for understanding these voters and one that will allow the creation of policy options that reflect the interests of these hardest-hit groups and that resonate for them politically.
A former intern for the U.S. Congress and volunteer coordinator in the 2008 Obama campaign, Vollertsen spent the past summer in Ethiopia with Clinton School colleague Stephen Bailey creating films aimed at mobilizing communities around a set of development projects. He has a long commitment to grassroots organizing and democracy. (more…)
We began a new tradition this year at the Clinton School when we asked the student Practicum teams to compete in a photo contest. With 13 teams completing Practicum projects across Arkansas, we received some outstanding photos from the students.
The winner of the inaugural contest is the team that is working with the Honeycomb Restaurant and Bakery in Arkadelphia, Ark. Below is a blog post by team member Aliyah Sarkar that describes the project and the winning photo. We will post more photos later in the week.
Team Honeycomb is providing consultation to Group Living, Inc. an organization that provides life support services to adults with developmental disabilities.
The team’s goal is to increase the revenue of The Honeycomb Restaurant and Bakery, a program of Group Living that employs individuals with developmental disabilities. The consultation has focused primarily on marketing suggestions and strategies to increase awareness of the restaurant and its social mission. This effort has been coupled with community engagement on how the restaurant can best improve its service and the aesthetic quality of the physical location.
Our research found that Honeycomb Restaurant and Bakery could benefit from a marketing campaign that highlights the restaurant’s social mission and uses social media to reach local residents and tourists alike. In collaboration with Group Living staff, we have revamped the Honeycomb Restaurant and Bakery website, created a brochure, identified pertinent tourist centers and hotels to target with advertising materials, and composed a list of recommendations concerning marketing strategies for future growth. (more…)
A Clinton School student traveled to Mongolia last year to conduct research for an orphanage and children’s center for her final project in her master’s degree program.
Clinton School student Katie Longino worked with the Lotus Children’s Center and Guesthouse during the fall of 2012 to develop an employee handbook and training manual, as well as other marketing materials, through the use of best practice research.
According to World Vision, there are approximately 4,000 children in Mongolia, mostly in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, who live or work on the streets. The Lotus Children’s Center was established in 1993 to address this problem by providing children with basic human rights including shelter, food and education.
Lotus has developed several social enterprises that serve to support the Children’s Center financially and act as a platform for vocational training programs, one of which is the Lotus Guesthouse. Working at the Lotus Guesthouse provides employees, all of whom are current or former Lotus children, with basic skills in business, hospitality and tourism. These skills can be used for future employment in the hospitality and tourism industries. (more…)
A Clinton School student partnered with an Arkansas nonprofit organization focused on social justice to help facilitate targeted community programming for her final project in her master’s degree program.
Clinton School student Sydney Shearer of Nashville, Tenn. spent the last five months working with Just Communities of Arkansas (JCA) to create an issue-based curriculum catalogue that will facilitate the process of creating specific and targeted community programming.
Since 1965, JCA has actively worked to create inclusive communities throughout Arkansas through programming that engages participants in activities designed to break down stereotypes and promote understanding and respect among community members.
JCA organizes programs, conferences, trainings and consultations for youth, adults, businesses, government, faith groups, schools and other community organizations. JCA customizes its programs to meet the specific needs of specific partner organizations.
Shearer’s issue-based curriculum catalogue includes a collection of classroom exercises and training materials for future JCA volunteers and staff members. The catalogue allows JCA staff to search their collection of activities in a number of categories, including issue-area, age group and activity objectives. Shearer also created a common format for all JCA curriculum pieces that allows for the inclusion of more specific activity objectives and shared notes about specific activities. (more…)
The Central Arkansas Library System, a regular Clinton School partner organization, will open its new, 30,000 square-foot Children’s Library and Learning Center Saturday at a celebration that is open to the public.
Clinton School instructor of education Don Ernst, who is coordinator of the new library, was interviewed recently by KUAR public radio about the upcoming library opening. Click here to listen to the interview with Ernst that was conducted by Clinton School student Maggie Carroll (‘13), who is working part-time for KUAR.
Clinton School graduate Emily Fischer (‘10) also played a role in the planning for the new library. She completed community surveys and produced a report on community needs related to programming at the new facility.
The new facility is located at 4800 West 10th Street in Little Rock.
A new public service institute for high school students will launch in Little Rock and Fort Smith this July in partnership with the Clinton School.
Recognizing the need to provide high school students with formal public service training, the Noble Institute will center its agenda on providing these students the skills necessary to make a public service impact in their communities.
A Gallup Student poll released in January reported that student engagement in elementary school is 76 percent but drops to 44 percent in high school.
“If we were doing right by our students and our future, these numbers would be the absolute opposite,” according to the Gallup report.
The Gallup Student poll also notes, “Among the many types of students whose engagement wanes during their time in the educational system are those who have high entrepreneurial talent.”
“Clearly the demand exists at the high school level to increase opportunities for engagement,” said Chad Williamson, a Clinton School graduate and former high school teacher helping organize and launch the Institute. “Noble Institute will provide a unique environment that will harness the energy of service and entrepreneurship that exists in high school students today.”
A Clinton School student worked this year to develop an online networking strategy for a nonprofit dedicated to promoting social entrepreneurship across the world.
Clinton School student Jordan Aibel of Miami Fla., worked with Ashoka, Innovators for the Public™ to more closely connect members of Ashoka’s entrepreneurial community on the organization’s online platform, AshokaHub. Ashoka works on initiatives that encourage social entrepreneurs to create positive change to address societal challenges.
To help increase use of the online platform, Aibel partnered with Ashoka staff and academic experts to design an online community management strategy. He then re-engaged a group of Ashoka team members committed to supporting the ongoing development of the platform.
“AshokaHub is the place where members of Ashoka’s network can find and connect with one another, share strategic resources and spark collaboration,” said Abby Chroman, AshokaHub’s Managing Director. “Jordan’s work has and will continue to increase the quality and quantity of activity on the platform.”
With staff on six continents and key partners in more than 80 countries, the organization needed a way for individuals to connect directly with one another.
“AshokaHub enables the many-to-many connections upon which the continued growth and impact of the network depends,” said Ashoka Team Leader Claire Fallender. (more…)