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Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation Supports Employment Initiative for Youth and Adults

PRIDE Initiative to Connect Residents with Employment Opportunities

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (November 19, 2012) – The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) recently awarded $145,900 to the Mississippi County Arkansas Economic Opportunity Commission (MCAEOC) to support the implementation of PRIDE (Poverty Reduction Impacts Destiny Empowerment), a job preparation and community change initiative for disconnected youth and adults.

“Moving the needle on poverty in Arkansas requires that communities address their local workforce challenges,” said Dr. Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury, president and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. “PRIDE is a community based example of connecting residents with employment, educational, and community engagement opportunities that are needed to improve the lives of families in Mississippi County.”

PRIDE, an initiative supported by local higher education and workforce training providers, will provide structured job training and mentoring support for disconnected youth and adults in Mississippi County. In addition, PRIDE will ensure that low-income residents have a strong voice in other strategies to improve life in the region by organizing regular community conversations and town hall meetings.

“PRIDE was developed based on feedback directly from unemployed, underemployed, and disconnected community members,” said Samuel Scruggs, MCAEOC Executive Director. “By working with our partners at the Great River Economic Development Foundation and Arkansas Northeastern College, PRIDE will be able to connect vulnerable residents to better jobs, strengthen community planning initiatives, and make Mississippi County a better place to live and raise a family.”

About the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

For over 35 years, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has helped to build and sustain the organizations that serve and strengthen Arkansas. Through grantmaking and strategic partnerships, we are working hard to help close the economic and educational gaps that leave too many Arkansas families in persistent poverty.

About Mississippi County Arkansas Economic Opportunity Commission

Mississippi County Arkansas Economic Opportunity Commission (MCAEOC) has been devoted to its mission of promoting self-help for low-income people and neighborhoods since 1965. MCAEOC empowers disadvantaged people of Mississippi County by providing them with the right resources to overcome poverty, live with self-respect, and achieve their complete potential.  


Ms. Takema Robinson-Bradberry

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

(501) 376-6854


Mr. Samuel Scruggs

Mississippi County Arkansas Economic Opportunity Commission

(870) 776-1054