Seal of Little Rock

Thursday, Dec 03, 2020

City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

Media Releases

Contact(s): L. Lamor Williams

27 Graduate from City's first R.O.C.K. Academy Community Education Course

The City of Little Rock, on Tuesday night, held a virtual graduation for its first cohort of R.O.C.K. Academy participants.

An acronym for Residents Obtaining Community Knowledge, R.O.C.K. Academy is a six-week course aimed at giving Little Rock residents a closer look at the inner workings of City government and prompting civic engagement through service on boards and commissions or volunteering.

The virtual sessions, held on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m., were: 

  • Government 101 – An overview of City government.
  • Dollars and Sense – A look at the budgeting process and economic development.
  • Safety in the City – Meet those working to keep the city safe.
  • Little Rock Building Blocks – Hear from Planning and Development, Public Works and Housing and Neighborhood Programs departments.
  • Livin’ in Little Rock – Focuses on quality of life topics such as Parks and Recreation, the Little Rock Zoo and sustainability measures.
  • Community Care – Learn about City-supported social service programs and other resources.

More than 70 residents applied for the inaugural R.O.C.K. Academy. However, to maximize the opportunity for class participation, participants were divided into fall and spring classes with the intention being to hold two courses per year. The class graduating Tuesday included the following 27 residents, each of whom will receive a certificate of completion via mail:

Eric Bailey

Bob Hayden

Tabitha Mullins

Tamerdis Baker

Mary-Julia Hill

Jen Para

Pamela Bingham 

Raymond Jarvis

Tametra Phillips

Chelsea Boozer

Dorothy Jones

Michael St. Marie

Sky Brower

Pat Kumpuris

Joe Straw, Sr.

Ronya Byrd

Barbara Malm

Demetria Townsend-Lawson

Brian Clary

Karena Malott 

Itzel Velazquez

Octavia DeYoung

Ashley Martinez

Justin Vess

Sherry Enoch

Wendy Moursi

Stephanie Walker

“Congratulations to the residents who completed the inaugural R.O.C.K. Academy,” Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. said. “It will take involvement from residents partnering with the City to Unite Little Rock so that we can reach our full potential. I look forward to welcoming future cohorts and seeing more residents gain a deeper understanding of how their government works for them.”

After completing the Academy, several participants stated their plans to volunteer in/at various programs they learned about during the sessions.

“This class was inspiring and I am so proud to be a part of the graduating class,” Barbara Malm said during brief comments to the board. “There are so many different and vital resources and programs being provided to the citizens of Little Rock. It was just such an amazing thing to learn. I’m eager to volunteer. Re-entry is an area I’m really interested in, but I also love arts and entertainment.”

Little Rock residents interested in attending one of the 2021 R.O.C.K. Academy courses may sign up at Academy. Email confirmations will be sent before the classes begin. 


About the City of Little Rock’s Response to COVID-19
Residents may visit for all information about the City’s efforts related to COVID-19, including the newly created Small Business Emergency Assistance Program. Volunteers are needed to assist with the grab-and-go feeding efforts for vulnerable populations, including students and seniors. Sign up at The Little Rock Cares Emergency Relief Fund benefits the grab-and-go feeding effort and the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE). Donations of PPE are also accepted. Donate here or visit and click on the Little Rock Cares Emergency Relief Fund button. Follow the City of Little Rock on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CityLittleRock.