Pulaski County Youth Services (PCYS) stays very busy in the summer time, offering the youth of Pulaski County a wide variety of programs and life-enriching experiences. Whether it is through work experience, financial literacy education, summer activity sites, water safety classes, tennis lessons, golf lessons, or music education, the programs strives to keep students engaged and active all summer. We know this is an enhancement to their lives and futures, as well a big help to families.

"Here’s a recap of our summer adventures," reads a recent official press release.

Youthonomics: Investing in Your Financial Future

Fifty-Seven students participated in a recent one-week financial literacy camp, Youthonomics, hosted at Webster University. These young "millionaires-in-the-making" met each morning for a presentation from a member of the local finance sector, followed by activities, ice breakers, and two, one-hour financial literacy classes. "This is the sixth year that the classes have been taught by our friends at the Student Loan Guarantee Foundation of Arkansas and they did a fantastic job," according to the release.

On July 16, PCYS hosted a recognition ceremony for all the participants and their families in the Pulaski County Courthouse Rotunda.

Keynote addresses were delivered by Susie Smith of Metropolitan National Bank and Sarah-Catherine Gutierrez of S.C. Financial.

"It was a fantastic year for the program and our participants can start their future as "super savers" with a $50 savings account at Bank of the Ozarks This program will be offered again next summer for ninth through twelfth grade students," states the press release.

The Our Club Music Program

Forty Pulaski County sixth- and seventh-grade students spent six weeks this summer in the Our Club Music Program. Classes were held Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Horace Mann Middle School and breakfast and lunch was provided at no cost.

This year’s program focus areas included: music education, self-discipline, cultural enrichment, and nutrition. Instructors conducted daily instruction to ensure that each student strived for his or her highest potential.

During the program, students had the opportunity to attend the Drums Corp International competition at War Memorial Stadium on July 24. Most impressively, all students, new and returning, were able to display their skills for an end-of-program concert at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center on July 26th. The students did an outstanding job, returning students played some special music pieces, and all enjoyed some special music performances by local musicians.

"Last, the level of accomplishment that these students achieved throughout the program is credited to the wonderful instructors Mr. Marcus Johnson, and Mr. Jerry Dawson. Thanks for helping us end the summer on a good note," according to the release.

Changing Your World

The sixth annual, Public Service Internship Program took place from June 24 to Aug. 1. Twenty-five Pulaski County 16-18 year olds were accepted into the program, which provides six-week, paid internships at local government, non-profit, or community organizations. The goal of this program is to expose Pulaski County youth to the public service community as a potential career path. These students were selected through an application and interview process and really worked hard this summer to make a difference in our community. On Aug. 1, interns graduated from the program in a ceremony held at the Clinton School of Public Service, with keynote speaker Georgia Mjartan, of the Our House Shelter.

PCYS recognized its outstanding interns of the year, Celina Reyes-Vasquez, who interned at the Arkansas Healthcare Access Foundation of Arkansas and Warrington Sebree, who interned at the Downtown Little Rock Partnership.

For upcoming ACT Prep opportunities, the public should stay tuned to future announcements by emailing sthompson@co.pulaski.ar.us.