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Date Posted: 03/17/2017

Governor, Principal Recognize Youth Writers with Special Luncheon


Brandi Hinkle
Deputy Chief of Communications

Governor, Principal Recognize Youth Writers with Special Luncheon

The writing abilities of a select group of students were on full display Friday at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center (AJATC) in Alexander. The Department of Human Services Division of Youth Services (DYS) houses boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 20 who require residential treatment and provides community-based services for many more.

The state’s eight centers provide counseling, treatment and education to residents. As part of the curriculum at the Alexander site, a writing competition focused on diversity was held in February.

Upward of 30 students entered the contest with essays and poems, and five were awarded a special “Lunch With the Principal,” in addition to special recognition by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. On the menu was a tasty treat – meals from Burger King.   

“Providing youth in our care with opportunities for success and the tools they need to succeed is a core part of the DYS mission,” said Director Betty Guhman. “These are extremely talented young people who have a lot of potential, and I’m proud of them for earning this recognition from the Governor.”

The governor provided each winning student an official letter of commendation for a job well done. It encouraged the kids to embrace the art of writing, noting how it can change lives and influence the world in a positive manner.  

“Receiving a letter from the governor was amazing,” said AJATC Principle Martha Wall-Whitfield. “The students were all very pleased and very proud.”        

The Alexander facility, managed by Rite of Passage, is also the primary intake and assessment facility for all youths in the custody of DYS. For more information, visit humanservices.arkansas.gov or Facebook.com/ArkDHS.


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Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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