Nonprofit hopes to improve quality of life in Region 8

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A nonprofit organization produced a study to help improve the quality of life for Region 8 citizens.

The Arkansas Community Foundation presented its second edition of "Aspire Arkansas" in Jonesboro Tuesday morning.

This 65-page report shows the quality of education, health, family and community-related issues in every county.

These topics include the number of college graduates in each county, teenage pregnancies, household incomes, and more.

For example, about 15 percent of Northeast Arkansas has a bachelor's degree or higher.

The report also shows how Arkansas compares to the rest of the country. In this same category, Arkansas ranks number 50.

The foundation's president and CEO Heather Larkin said the goal of the study is to encourage local leadership to take this information and determine the best way to allocate scarce resources.

"We all have few resources and very big challenges so with good information and really putting our heads into it perhaps we can use those resources where they'll have the greatest impact, rather than just writing a check and hoping we do something good," Larkin said.

Aspire Actions, a branch of Aspire Arkansas, launched an initiative to decrease poverty in the state and "make Arkansas a land of opportunity for all."

Aspire Actions goals are to improve high school graduation rates, promote healthy stable families and increase earning capacity in the workforce.

To view the full report, visit the Arkansas Community Foundation's website.

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