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  • College Isn’t the Only Option
    Posted in CEI Blog on June 28, 2018 | Preview rr

    Every year, thousands of young Arkansans graduate high school anticipating their future. For some that’s a four-year college or university, but it is not the only route to a successful life and the pursuit of happiness. Arkansas is currently facing a shortage of workers in our skilled labor market, which makes up a majority of the state’s overall workforce, and there are limitless opportunities in skilled workforce, such as skilled-labor training, apprenticeships, or specialized two-year degree ... Read more

  • Helping Families Succeed
    Posted in CEI Blog on April 20, 2018 | Preview rr

    Research shows that the months shortly after birth are the most crucial in determining lifelong outcomes of a child and that those children without adequate resources are more likely to make poor decisions and continue in the cycle of poverty. Because of a deficit in resources and support, many low-income children struggle more than others in their age group, and this is a cycle that we in Arkansas are trying to break. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2016, A... Read more

  • Keeping our Communities Safe
    Posted in CEI Blog on March 9, 2018 | Preview rr

    We’ve done a lot to stress the importance of building and investing in positive community models. The work that organizations do to contribute to improving the quality of life in the central Arkansas region is important and doesn’t go unnoticed. One of the main objectives in building a positive community is improving and investing in safety. Recently in central Arkansas, violent crime has risen to troubling levels. It’s up to community leadership, along with government, law enforcement, and comm... Read more

  • Pouring into Our At-Risk Youth
    Posted in CEI Blog on February 15, 2018 | Preview rr

    As Americans, it’s our responsibility to make sure that the country we pass down to future generations is significantly better than the one we inherited from our parents. Young people are the future of our nation, and every day we have the incredible opportunity to invest in them. In the past, I’ve thanked our many community partners in the state of Arkansas for contributing to the future success of our community’s youth, but today I’d like to focus on an issue that not only affects young people... Read more

  • Never without Hope
    Posted in CEI Blog on January 5, 2018 | Preview rr

    The holidays are a time of giving to others, lending a hand to our neighbors, and spending time with our loved ones. It's a season of joy and laughter as we celebrate Christ's birth and bring in the new year. For some, however, hope is dim as they wrestle with challenges such as addiction and misfortune. Those who struggle with cycles of homelessness, substance abuse, and criminal recidivism are often forgotten during the holidays, but they are at the forefront of my mind this season. The number... Read more

  • Why Mentorship Matters
    Posted in CEI Blog on November 29, 2017 | Preview rr

    It’s long been the case that the success of communities depends on the development of young people – whether in the classroom, in the workplace, or in the home. One of my priorities throughout my life has been mentorship. Without the mentorship of bosses, troop leaders, or parents, I would not have developed the skills I needed to be successful in my career and in my life. I have embraced the importance of mentorship and have had the opportunity to work with great Arkansas organizations such as ... Read more

  • Feeding Our Children
    Posted in CEI Blog on October 27, 2017 | Preview rr

    Today in Arkansas, we have 5,200 youth in the foster care system – with another nearly 3,000 going through the system annually. Half of these young people have been abused or neglected and have never experiences a strong stable family foundation or home. As moms and dads, sisters and brothers, and grandparents, this should shock us. The children of today will build and support the communities of tomorrow, and each child should have nothing but hope and promise ahead of them. For these young peop... Read more

  • CEI Blog: A Heart for Foster Care
    Posted in CEI Blog on September 29, 2017 | Preview rr

    Today in Arkansas, we have 5,200 youth in the foster care system – with another nearly 3,000 going through the system annually. Half of these young people have been abused or neglected and have never experiences a strong stable family foundation or home. As moms and dads, sisters and brothers, and grandparents, this should shock us. The children of today will build and support the communities of tomorrow, and each child should have nothing but hope and promise ahead of them. For these young peop... Read more

  • Why Community Development Matters
    Posted in CEI Blog on August 2, 2017 | Preview rr

    On this blog each month, I feature organizations and people whose work is having a positive and meaningful impact on the lives of those in our local communities. This month, I wanted to highlight community organizations that have helped families in central Arkansas and across the state through initiatives and community programs that foster both social and economic development. Through these vital programs, lives have been deeply touched and positively affected. One example is Arkansas’s own Wint... Read more

  • CEI Blog: Faith-Based Organizations
    Posted in CEI Blog on June 27, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Jobs and Economic Growth

    Dear Friends, I appreciate the feedback I have received about the Community Empowerment Initiative (CEI) and the desire many of you have expressed in participating in the work we are doing. If you have any ideas about CEI or ways Congress can better address lifting families out of poverty, please leave me a message on my Facebook page. I started the CEI with the goal of highlighting people and programs who are making a difference in curbing the cycle of poverty in our community and encouraging m... Read more

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