On August 10, 2017 staff from the Little Rock Workforce Development Board (LRWDB) and Arbor E&T hosted youth participants at a PROMISE Grant program celebration at Dave and Buster’s. Presentation of the Diane Tucker Outstanding Youth Award to Isaiah Scott and PROMISE Outstanding Leadership Awards – to Tevon Wren and Alaya Lewis – served as highlights of the celebration.
Of the 57 participants placed in employment, 30 completed all of the 200 allowable work hours and another 9 participants are expected to complete 200 hours by September 30.
The PROMISE summer program resulted in many youth success stories, including:
Isaiah Scott, Little Rock, AR
Isaiah Scott epitomizes the type of determination that made him the first PROMISE participant to complete 200 hours during his summer work experience. He never missed a day of work and was always on time at the Ronald L. Davis Law Firm, where he gained valuable knowledge of the legal system. Isaiah’s dedication to hard work helped him win the Diane Tucker Outstanding Youth Award for 2017.
Tevon Wren, 18, Little Rock, AR
Tevon completed his hours at the Little Rock Wastewater, where he was able to experience different aspects of the Wastewater business. Tevon really enjoyed his summer work experience and has potential to be hired if a position that fits his interests becomes available. He is currently planning to attend Pulaski Technical College.
M’Ashunti Hood, 15, Little Rock, AR
Even though she started slightly after the start date, M’Ashunti was one of the first to have completed 200 hours of employment. Feedback from co-workers at the Family Development Center at Catherine’s House indicated that she was a pleasure to have at the work site. M’Ashunti has a strong work ethic and is heading in the right direction to be successful.
Alaya Lewis, 17, Little Rock, AR
Although shy at first, Alaya is a young lady with enthusiasm and compassion. She is a 17-year-old upcoming senior at Little Rock Central High School and cannot wait to enjoy chemistry…. books and boys alike. This year Alaya displayed her hard work and dedication during her work experience with the Sammie Gail Sanders Children’s Learning Center in North Little Rock. Her direct supervisor was very impressed with the work Alaya accomplished. Her goals this year are to: attain good grades, learn how to draft a resume, and apply for her first job.
Rodney Cooper, 178 Little Rock, AR
Rodney is no stranger to hard work. During the summer he not only participated in the PROMISE Work Experience but was already employed. Rodney unfortunately did not win one of the top awards but was recognized for a separate accomplishment. Rodney was employed with Big Rock Mini Golf and Fun Park this summer and was offered a position. Rodney is a graduate of Parkview High school and is currently enrolled at Pulaski Technical College. He is definitely A+mazing!
The LRWDB began its partnership with the Arkansas PROMISE Grant consortium in January 2015 to operate a summer youth work experience program to run in concert with the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).
PROMISE—Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income —is a joint initiative of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services, and Labor. Arkansas was selected as one of six programs nationally to promote positive changes in education and employment outcomes for the target population. AR PROMISE provided innovative educational, vocational, and other services to youth SSI recipients, age 14 to 16, and their families.