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

Nonprofit helps bridge the gap between law enforcement and kids
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 11:30 PM CDT

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Helping Others Prioritize Education is what Dr. Robert Harper has been doing with his HOPE Initiative across the ArkLaTex and other parts of the country.

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

They offer a plethora of services like college, career and life readiness programming, and social justice workshops. Last year, students got to participate in a workshop with former NFL player and Shreveport native Lifford Hobley. Also some of Shreveport law enforcement went undercover as regular people in hopes to bridge the gap in the community.

“What we did was we did a social justice workshop where we had police officers, former players, a high school student-athlete, and what we did was some self-discovery assessments and ACT prep component,” Harper said.

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

“This is a call to action and we want more business people and law enforcement to get involved with our initiative to help build our children in a special kind of way,” she said.

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