The Pine Bluff School District’s Freedom Schools program collaborated with “The Shift Initiative” to provide professional development for interns at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, according to a news release.

“This training not only prepared them for a summer of service and child advocacy, it left them with a tool kit of professional practices for future use,” according to the release.

The trainer was Kyra R. Hardwick of The Kyra Co. LLC, who has a Master of Business Administration degree.

“Thanks to the Shift Initiative and Mrs. Hardwick, the Pine Bluff School District’s Freedom Schools program staff can deliver exceptional customer service to all scholars, parents and community members,” according to the release.

DeQues McClain is a Freedom School site assistant intern.

“Kyra has great energy and when she speaks it makes you want to listen to what she has to say. Everything that she taught us I can use and apply in my professional life,” McClain said in the release.

Freedom Schools aim to empower youth and college students from hardships and disadvantaged communities.

“The Shift Initiative is a 501c3 non-profit organization that proposes to utilize a social enterprise approach to combating the vicious cycle of poverty, unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, and the lack of trade skills and education that plague many youth and young adults in today’s society,” according to the release.

Details: Zach Lewis, program director, at or 870-209-0076.