Spring Hill 10th – 12th grade students attended a forum presented by the Arkansas Economic Development Institute last Wednesday. Randy Wright (not to be confused with Judge Randy Wright) and Grainger Ledbetter, representatives from AED, informed the students that the Arkansas Economic Institute and the Hope Hempstead Economic Corporation have joined together to form a task force, called A.C.C.E.S.S. This program is a grassroots, adaptable community assessment program that assists
communities in developing sustainable and innovative approaches to economic growth and better quality of life.
The students were able to participate in a question & answer session with the representatives and were asked what they liked and disliked about Hope and Hempstead County. They were also asked what their needs and wants would be in order to relocate back to Hope or Hempstead County to raise a family and have a career should they attend a college or trade school after graduation.
Some responses were; no quality of life, activities or venues available. The city has too much trash on street sides, not enough lighting in parks, not enough specialty stores. The students want the schools to offer courses that will prepare them for college. They also said they would like UAHT to offer more options for two or four- year degree plans. They do like the small community and school atmosphere. According to the students, being a small community and school makes it more like family.
The task force will be meeting with students at other schools in the county over the next few weeks in order to gather additional information. If you are interested in being a part of the task force or on a committee, meetings are at Hempstead Hall on the 3 th Thursday of each month. You may contact the Hope-Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation at 870-777-8485 for more information.
By Mark Ross