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  • 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

    Children need nutritious food to grow and thrive, and they need it every day. One in four Arkansas children faces food insecurity - meaning they are not sure when or where their next meal will come from. In some of our most rural counties, that rate is as high as one in every three children, and over 176,000 children in our state live in food insecure households. Since coming to Congress, one of my top priorities has been working with groups and individuals in Arkansas who are committed to empow... 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

  • CEI Blog: Skilled Workforce
    Posted in CEI Blog on May 25, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Jobs and Economic Growth

    The greatest Community Empowerment Initiative (CEI) is ensuring that people have the skills necessary to secure meaningful employment that leads to financial independence and the ability to pursue happiness. As I like to say, college is a fine choice, but it’s not for everyone. And, letting young people know that great opportunities don’t always require a four-year degree is something I take seriously. That message is one idea that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle agree on, and I a... Read more

  • A Success Story in Eliminating Child Homelessness
    Posted in CEI Blog on April 10, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Education and Opportunity

    Part of what inspired me to create the Community Empowerment Initiative was the observation that longstanding federal policy toward ending poverty yielded—at best—the most marginal of improvements. Here in Washington, far too often we focus our attention and resources on the funding levels of federal programs rather than on their effect on the people that we serve. And while these programs provide a useful and often essential service to those most in need, in President Lyndon Johnson’s fifty-th... Read more

  • What I learned in San Juan
    Posted in CEI Blog on March 9, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Education and Opportunity

    By Rep. French Hill Earlier this year, I wrote a local newspaper column on the importance of youth mentoring. In the column, I was able to highlight the work of a constituent who is actively involved with the Boys & Girls Club in Bryant. That constituent, Karissa Stephens, detailed for me her experience of mentoring a young child who was struggling academically, socially, and emotionally. Karissa challenged her mentee to set goals so that she could improve in all three of those key areas. As th... Read more

  • CEI Blog: The Shift Back to Society Act
    Posted in CEI Blog on February 15, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Jobs and Economic Growth

    Dear Friends, Since coming to Congress, one of my top priorities has been working with groups and individuals in Arkansas who are committed to empowering all members of our community, particularly those living in poverty or all its consequences. These interactions led to the creation of the Community Empowerment Initiative (CEI) in June 2015. Over the course of the last year and a half, I held seven roundtables with over fifty groups representing small businesses, non-profits, churches, schools,... Read more

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