The HOPE Initiative wants more business people, law enforcement agencies to get involved

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Helping others make education a priority is what Dr. Robert Harper is doing at ArkLaTex and other parts of the country with the Hope Initiative.

“Statistics show that the more education you have, the less likely you are to commit a crime,” he said. “So we use a foundation of college and career readiness to prepare these young people to transition into adulthood to prepare them for life after high school.”

They offer many services, such as college, career and life readiness programs, and social justice workshops. Last year, students were able to participate in a workshop with former NFL player and Shreveport native Lifford Hobley. Also, some of Shreveport’s law enforcement officers are disguised as regular people, hoping to bridge the gap in the community.

“We did a social justice workshop with police officers, former players, a high school student-athlete, and we did some self-discovery assessments and as part of ACT prep,” Harper said.

Now he’s calling on the community to join. Francine Brown at Seniors First is one of them.

“This is a call to action and we want more businesses and law enforcement to get involved in our initiative to build our children in a unique way,” she said.

Harper said they will soon host a conference to discuss gun violence in New Orleans to bring that information to help Shreveport.

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