Graduates from the Jobs for Life program

Holiday Greetings from BCD, Inc.

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BCD, Inc. would like to thank you for your support over the years. We have witnessed amazing growth over the decades, and we look forward to working alongside you in serving our community in 2010. Indeed, we are preparing for some surprising new developments in this coming year, and we hope you will continue to be a part of our work.

As you consider making your year-end contributions, please remember BCD and our commitment to our community. Tax receipts are automatically generated from our online donation form.

EmPowerment Center registered for LEED

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The Black Community Developers’ planned $5.4 million EmPowerment Center to be located on West 12th Street, Little Rock, is now registered with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) to achieve LEED Silver for New Construction by Viridian.

This state-of-the art 22,000 square foot facility will be equipped with supportive housing, office space, conference and classrooms for state-licensed treatment, prevention and intervention programs. This facility will supplement the current treatment center and house the many programs sponsored by BCD that have experienced significant growth and exceeded expectations over the years.

"It is important for us to begin setting the standard for change in our environment by actively promoting, educating and encouraging the grassroots community to create a sustainable and energy efficient world," said Deborah Bell, director of community development for BCD. "BCD’s EmPowerment Center will be the first green building in the Midtown community."

"This facility will be an example of how sustainability represents much more than just being green," said Viridian Partner Matt Bell. "New and visually pleasing architecture can obviously help a neighborhood, but having a facility that demonstrates the benefits of incorporating sustainable elements such as energy efficiency into buildings is what can really uplift the community and empower individuals."

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Youth Study HIV/AIDS Awareness

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Carl Jackson holds Play Safe t-shirt

"It's eye opening to work with youth and understanding that kids want to know about HIV/AIDS," said AmeriCorps VISTA Carl Jackson.

Since June, Jackson has worked with 30 young people in BCD's Play Safe Program funded by the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. This program engages youth to learn about the dangers of HIV/AIDS through visual art, creative writing, computer training, and videography.

Chardanele Forte wearing her award-winning logo design"We made several public service announcements that will air on local TV, we wrote a short book, and I won the logo-design contest," said Chardanele Forte, an eighth grader at LISA Academy. The students were each asked to design a logo for the Play Safe Program. The students voted and selected Forte's design.

The book containing student writings is currently being printed, and copies may be ordered by contacting BCD, Inc. For the past three summers, Dr. Randall Horton has been asked to engage students in some form of creative writing. This chapbook of creative writings is the result of computer-based research, group discussions, reading and writing workshops, and of course, their creativity.

You may preview the book on the BCD website.

Jobs for Life Grads Find New Hope

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Laura Duarte receiving her certificate of completion from Rev. William Robinson

On October 14, nine individuals celebrated a new beginning in their lives as they graduated BCD's Jobs for Life Program. This program is run through The Hoover Center and teaches life skills to recovering addicts so that they can live successful lives.

"I learned responsibility here," said Laura Duarte, one of the class speakers. "I learned patience and how to be humble. I’m clean today. And it FEELS SO GOOD TO BE CLEAN! I am 47 years old, and I've never loved myself, and today I can say ‘I LOVE LAURA!’ I was a high school dropout and an addict. Now I have my GED and plan to go to college thanks to Jobs for Life."

Since the program’s inception in 2001, two 8-week Jobs for Life sessions have been offered annually. Approximately seven in 10 graduates are still employed after one year.

This session’s graduates included Dwight Brown, Laura Duarte, Timothy Fairchild, Ernest Jackson, Obra Kelly, Larry Matthews, Garry Norman, Christopher Rector, and Frederick Shelton. Congratulations!

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