Grant Facilitates UARM to 'Break the Mold'

The University of Arkansas Rich Mountain (UARM) hosted 43 female students from Acorn, Mena, Cossatot River, Mt. Ida, and Caddo Hills High Schools for a “Be the Model, Break the Mold” event showcasing non-traditional career exploration/activities. The program was made possible through a $38,400 grant from the Division of Career and Technical Education and facilitated by the DeQueen-Mena Education Service Cooperative (DMESC). Besides UARM, the program was also hosted at Southern Arkansas University, UA Cossatot, UAHT Texarkana, and UAHT Hope.


The students were welcomed by Dr. Krystal Thrailkill, Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs before dividing into groups to visit the various technical programs including welding, machine tool, and information technology. The program was strategically designed to have students “hands-on” in each department with projects. Stacy Southerland is the CTE Perkins Coordinator from DMESC and was impressed with UARM’s event, “Rich Mountain was fabulous, so very well organized and provided t-shirt specific to the event. Girls went home with projects they made themselves…so far, no one else has done that!”


Southerland explained the Division of Career & Technical Education of DESE sent out a notice that there were grant funds available for CTE Coordinators to apply for funding for projects focused on Non-Traditional Career Exploration/Activities, “and so "Be The Model, Break The Mold'' became our project idea. Since we work together often, and our areas share some of the same resources myself, CTE Coordinator at Southwest Coop, Shannon Puckett and CTE coordinator at SouthCentral Coop, Katie Robertson decided to try a combined effort to meet the need for non-traditional career exploration in our areas, thinking that the bigger the event and the more students we could involve we had a better chance of being funded.”


Van Deest is hopeful that this is the first of an annual event and that the concept can lead to other career exploration events that allow students this one on one, hands on experience.


UA Rich Mountain’s mission is to provide transformative education to all learners.


1-12-22 12:45 p.m. KAWX.ORG