Weekly Columns

I am continuously impressed by the enthusiasm and eagerness demonstrated by Arkansans in schools around our state who are committed to making a difference. I believe in the importance of investing in the future of our studious and determined young people interested in civic engagement and my office works to help fuel their passion for bettering their communities, supporting their neighbors and improving the outlook for the next generation. We’re happy to play a part in nurturing and fostering these efforts. 

This is one reason I launched my Congressional Youth Cabinet. This non-partisan program offers students an opportunity to learn about the legislative process and lend their voices to important debates before Congress. From attending meetings to researching national issues, these bright high school juniors have time and time again exhibited a commitment to public service and an excitement for learning. 

I was pleased to recently reconvene more than 60 students from across the state who aim to be more engaged and shape the future of our state for this initiative. These participants and their peers have lived through an interesting time in our history, and bringing them together throughout this school year will help apply their experiences in search of solutions. When we work together, we can develop meaningful and lasting change. I look forward to hearing about their progress and proposals to challenges facing our country as the program unfolds. I am confident they will find this to be a valuable experience and I look forward to their presentations in a few months about the issues they are choosing to focus on. 

Arkansans of all ages come to Washington to voice their concerns and support for policies Congress is crafting. It’s great to see involvement from youth who desire to learn more about advocacy, be part of the solution and help their fellow Arkansans. 

That’s what brings many students to serve internships on Capitol Hill. Hundreds of Arkansans seeking to learn more about the legislative process have served as an intern and helped provide outreach to people all across the state while realizing their passion for public service.  

We’re proud to welcome students who have a variety of interests and are from communities throughout the Natural State to join my team with the purpose of serving Arkansans. We are fortunate to have had some of the state’s future leaders participate in our internship program in Washington, D.C. and our state offices. 

As we confront the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on our lives, I’m encouraged by the young people I interact with who have overcome adversity. The high school and college students I’ve met during the last 18 months continue to inspire me with their resilience, innovative thinking and determination. Whether finishing up their high school careers, grappling with very different college experiences, starting military careers or searching for jobs, our next generation of leaders do not plan to let a pandemic stop their forward momentum. 

By engaging students across the state, we continue to promote community involvement among our youth. I am so thankful that I have been able to meet so many of them and learn about their goals to better themselves and give back to their communities and our state. The experiences they have gained from internships and various congressional youth programs have shaped and sharpened these future leaders of America.